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To Combat Air Pollution, Offices Should Incentivise Those Who Use Cycles: Environment Minister

The union environment minister urged people to take up cycling as a habit to build greener, quieter and better cities

drr-harsh-vardhan curb air pollution

New Delhi: Air pollution occurs from a variety of sources and usage of vehicles is one of them, especially in Delhi which has been suffering from serious air pollution from the last few months. To combat air pollution in the national capital, a 12-point draft plan was recently formulated by a high-level task force, suggesting the improvement of public transport, encouraging electric vehicles and promoting shared and connected mobility. In addition to this, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan is promoting another mode of transport – cycle – which would help cut down on air pollution. While leading a six-km-long cycle rally to promote the cycling habit among citizens, the minister urged organisations to develop schemes to incentivise the use of cycles for coming to offices as a way to curb air pollution.

Also Read: Educate School Kids On Air Pollution, Worried Delhi’s Directorate Of Education Tells Schools

Over 500 cycling enthusiasts took part in the cycle rallies organised by Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), which distributes environment-friendly compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles and piped national gas (PNG) to consumers in Delhi-NCR. The Environment Minister, who flagged off the rally along with local Member of Parliament Mahesh Sharma, noted the benefits of physical activities like cycling to maintain good health.

In a series of tweets, the minister urged people to take up cycling as a habit to build greener, quieter and better cities.

“We’re burning fuel with unnecessary and excessive use of automobiles and by just cutting down our basic errands on a cycle we can contribute in a big way to mitigate the carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions and thereby leave a cleaner and greener environment,” the minister tweeted.

A series of cycle rallies called “cyclothons” are being organized across 76 cities across India by various fuel retail companies under the aegis of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA).

With a direct relation between cycling and conserving transport fuel, last month the PCRA had organised the national capital’s first Saksham Pedal Delhi Cyclothon that saw participation of around 5,000 people and which included the National Cycling Championships as a component feature.

India’s 150 elite cyclists were seen in action at the National Cycling Championships in November, including Mumbai-based film actor and cycling enthusiast Farhan Akhtar, who is the brand ambassador of Saksham Pedal Delhi.

Dr Harsh Vardhan also tweeted that the campaign is in line with appeal from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the citizens, not to use fossil fuel driven vehicles for at least one day every week.

Annoucing the event, PCRA Executive Director Alok Tripathi had said the transformations in Indian society had made it all the more urgent to bring about a change of mindset on fuel use, and that the cyclothon had been timed to coincide with the seasonal worsening of air pollution in Delhi.

Also Read: Delhi Government Deploys Marshals To Check Air Pollution Offences

With inputs from PTI

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