HYDERABAD: With commuting on city roads becoming nothing short of a nightmare, a non profit organisation has come with a solution that is pedestrian friendly.
Embarq India, a non profit organization working towards the sustainable living has taken up an initiative to make Sundays a vehicle free experience in the city. Prashanth Bachu, project manager for Urban Transportation, Embarq India, tells us about bringing the project Raahagiri to Hyderabad
Q. Could you tell us more about Raahagiri?
The idea of Raahagiri comes from the fact that the roads in the city are no longer pedestrian friendly. Motor vehicles account to one hundred and forty thousand deaths in the city every year. Most of the victims here are either pedestrians or cyclists. Hence, we are making an attempt to make the public space accessible to pedestrians at least once a week.
Q. What are the plans with all the free space that is available?
Now that the roads are available, we plan to have activities like the zumba sessions, yoga classes etc. Raahagiri is already successful in different cities like Gurgaon which started with four and a half kilometer and was then extended to 16 kilometers. As of today, Raahagiri witnesses 10,000 participants every week. We hope to create a similar kind of environment to Hyderabad.
Q. What is the aim of Raahagiri?
This initiative is basically targeted towards three types of people. The first category of people are those who have a vehicle, but don’t know how to drive. Even for simple chores, they have to depend on someone else. Hence, they are lacking much needed physical activity. The second category is the kids below 18 years, who are not permitted to drive a two wheeler. The third category are the financially backward people, who don’t own a motor vehicle. Raahagiri is an attempt to make government understand that the public doesn’t want wider roads but a hassle free commute.
Q. How is the support from the government so far?
A. We have received enormous support from the government. The idea is to make this entirely a government initiative in the coming days.