Bhubaneswar To Breathe Easy: City Administration Employees To Cycle Or Walk To Office Every Friday

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Bhubaneswar: The city administration, comprising both Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is taking the initiative of a green and clean quite seriously. It has asked all employees including the outsourced staff, to come to office on a cycle or by walking once in a week i.e. on Friday to promote a better city environment, healthy lifestyle and sustainable urban habitat.

The three city-based organisations have already issued office orders to start the initiative from December 13.

While the use of cycle and walking comes under the non-motorised transport (NMT) initiative of the city administration, the city has, in the past, taken steps like organising Patha Utsav (street festival) on Janpath between Master Canteen and Ram Mandir Square every Sunday morning.

Chief Executive Officer of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited, Prem Chandra Chaudhary, who also holds the responsibilities of Vice-Chairman BDA and Commissioner BMC, said, “The initiative is a step towards creating sustainable Smart Cities and contributing something for better city environment and indirectly putting some micro efforts towards better world environment and lessening the burden arising due to global warming and climate change.’’

Interestingly, as per the figures available from the Regional Transport Office (RTO), while the city’s population as per the 2011 Census is around 10 lakh, there are more than 14 lakh vehicles in the city. Vehicles outnumbering human population has become a major concern and already the State Government has initiated work on developing a low-carbon mobility plan (LCMP) for the state capital. The Housing and Urban Development Department and BDA, in co-operation with German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are jointly working on the LCMP project for the city.

Secretary Bhubaneswar Cycling and Adventure Club Ajay Nanda said, “Cycling culture can be developed with a 360-degree approach. I am very happy that BSCL, BDA and BMC are asking their employees to come to office on cycle every Friday. Learning from this, other Government organisations and corporate houses might also come forward and replicate the idea for a better and sustainable city.’’

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