The toxic smog that has engulfed Delhi continues to affect the city. To ensure that Bengaluru does not face the same situation, the State Government is launching a campaign to ease the number of private vehicles plying on city streets.
This campaign will begin in Bengaluru from February 2018, and every 2nd Sunday of the month will be observed as “Less Traffic Day.”
Transport Minister, H.M Revanna, has said, “We already have 64 lakh private vehicles on the road and would like to avoid a smog situation in Bengaluru. While we are not banning private vehicles on that day, we will try to create awareness among Bengalureans to utilise public transport or hire yellow-board vehicles to avoid pollution in the city.”
The last such concept, “Bus Day” was well-received by the citizens. The use of public transport was encouraged, and ambient air quality went up. However, it did not permeate all sections of society. “Less Traffic Day” hopes to have a more significant impact. Especially in cases where one person is driving an empty car.
The annual growth rate of vehicles is 10%, and a report in the Indian Express estimates the number of private vehicles to hit one crore by 2022. 20% of these are cars, and nearly 70% are two-wheelers.
Currently, a quick casual search of the Air Quality Index for Bengaluru reveals it is moderately unhealthy in a few parts. Lesser private vehicles on holiday will surely help bring down the level of pollution.
Bengaluru’s “Less Traffic Day”, while not being compulsory, is a great way to remind the citizens that every small contribution towards creating a healthier living environment, counts.