Designed as a garden city, the first planned city of Independent India, Chandigarh is setting a bad example for environmental and community safety with it having the highest number of vehicles per capita the 1.2 million people own 8,00,000 vehicles and an estimated 1,00,000 driving through every day.
Increasing vehicular population along with the demand for mobility is encroaching our parks, roads and pedestrians in an unsustainable manner. Higher number of individual vehicles is leading to more laying of asphalt, a major contributor to climate change. While the public transport system is being operated at 5 % efficiency, parks, pedestrians and inner narrow roads have given way to parking spaces for vehicles thus compromising largely with environmental and community safety.
A study by the Chandigarh city traffic police indicates that most people who died in road accidents in Chandigarh over past five years were pedestrians followed by cyclists. 195 pedestrians have lost their lives so far including 28 people in the first 9 months of 2011.
Let’s demand the Chandigarh Administration to do evidence based planning and ensure:
1. To create dedicated, connected, greener and safer cycling lanes and pedestrian lanes to provide incentives for more bicycling and pedestrian users in each sector of Chandigarh
2. To Create “No vehicles zones”; especially in the denser sectors, i.e. 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, thus regulate the current vehicular traffic;
3. Regulate the use of horn from the vehicles;
4. Removal of Asphalt from the “no Vehicle zones” and replacement with more greener opportunities in the form of ecological community agro-forestry gardens.