HYDERABAD: If you are residing in Cyberabad, it’s time for you to consider keeping your car in the garage every Thursday and seek other alternative transport.
Taking a leaf out of some of the progressive methods used in global smart cities to ease traffic congestion and reduce pollution, Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA), along with the government is launching ‘Car Free Thursdays’ in the city’s IT corridor.
The idea of this initiative is to encourage people not drive their private vehicles and instead take public transport, bike, walk and carpool to work, every Thursday, starting from August 6. The initiative, of course, is only voluntary.
Currently more than 1.4 lakh people die annually due to road accidents and 6.2 lakh lives are shortened due to air pollution.
“Our analysis revealed that 59 per cent of the people in Hyderabad use public transport, while 41 per cent use private vehicles. In the IT corridor, 20 to 25 per cent of the people come to work in cars. If we can stop cars just once a week and encourage people to use other modes of transport, it would make a world of difference,” said Ramesh Loganathan, president, HYSEA.
HYSEA is also partnering with TSRTC on a trial basis to get the project underway. Currently, there are 370 buses operating in the IT corridor and 3,678 trips are made everyday. TSRTC will deploy 62 additional buses, with a frequency of two to five minutes, every Thursday to help people use alternative transportation and decongest the city.
“It is for a social cause and we have decided to support it for the betterment of the society. We will observe how the initiative takes off and review after six to eight weeks. Depending on the response, we will decide about taking it to other parts of the city,” explained P Komaraiah, regional manager, TSRTC.
The organisers have also taken up several innovative marketing initiaves, such as Selfie board -- which encourages people to take a selfie while standing behind a car-shaped banner -- to promote the initiative.
Telangana ITE&C secretary Jayesh Ranjan, who also indulged in a selfie session, said that the project offers a good platform for research and analyses on the potential of a change a single day without cars could cause.
“This project is being kicked off in the Cyberabad area and caters mainly to IT employees. However, we will see the benefits that will come out of this and analyse the difference in traffic speed, Carbon Dioxide levels in the air -- from a normal day and on a Thursday.
We could also analyse the employee sentiment on a normal day and compare it with that on a Thursday. Depending on the success, we could carry this forward to other parts of the city,” observed Jayesh Ranjan.