Delhi's first car-free day starts today!
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal led the cycle rally till Bhagwan Das Marg all the way from Red Fort to inaugurate Delhi's first car-free day. Hundreds of people took part in the cycle rally aimed at inspiring people to adopt public transport. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, and other AAP cabinet ministers, Chief Secretary and some bureaucrats also joined in the cycle rally.
Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that Delhi government's campaign titled "Ab Bus Karen" was ready and its catch-line would be "Jan Parivahan - Swasthya Jeevan" He proposed the stretch from India Gate to Red Fort be made car-free zone on 22 October Modes of public transport will be available in large numbers so that there would be no difficulty for the public.
The Car-Free Day, is the brainchild of State Transport Minister Gopal Rai, and he has proposed that the 22nd of every month be marked as a 'car-free day'.
Delhi Police denied approval to the AAP government's 'Car-Free Day' event designed to be held later in October. It reasoned that administration had not held 'prior consultation' with the police before taking the call in this regard. The Police Commissioner BS Bassi said 'Car-Free Day', scheduled to be held on October 22, coincided with "Dussehra which seems to be hasty and quite impractical."
The denial of permission by Bassi came as a surprise as the local police officials had bee conveyed "that they had no objections for the observance of a car-free day on the proposed stretch" earlier in October.
L-G Jung came to AAP's rescue for making car-free-day happen. Jung said he had "spoken to the Police Commissioner and Joint Commissioner (Traffic) and they have agreed to make extra efforts on that day". Certain modifications were included: 7 am to 12 noon instead of all day and would stretch from Red Fort till Tilak Marg police station (instead of India Gate)
Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai held an open session meeting with "MLAs and officials from PWD, MCD, NDMC, ASI and ITDP" in a bid to make 'Car-Free Day' a success. Rai contended that the AAP government was working for a "stronger public transport system". He added that the government had decided to double the number of buses in Delhi keeping this in mind.
From September 22, the city of Gurgaon started observing "car-free day every Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to encourage people to use alternative modes of transport."