• Let's make Pune city cycling friendly
    Pune city has a huge traffic problem. And as the government bodies try to build more and more roads for that traffic, we see an influx of more vehicles registered every year. Pune is called Oxford of East for its academic excellence. It’s also India’s second largest IT hub. While both these things were inspired by their western counterparts mainly in the USA, they failed to focus on the commute of students and employees. Almost every university and large IT parks in the USA offer cycling-friendly campuses as well as pop bicycle lanes on major roads in respective cities. Sadly Pune’s colleges and offices have failed to do this on a large scale. It is very important that companies, especially IT parks and government offices and colleges around which traffic is the maximum - should offer their employees alternate ways to commute. Luckily Pune’s cycling community is growing fast. Thanks to the first municipal cycle department in India, Pune has seen a good growth in cyclists. But many of these cyclists use cycles for recreational/exercise purposes. Thanks to the accessible cycling department many parts of Pune got dedicated cycling lanes and stands.[1] There has however barely been a rise in cycling being looked at as a commuting option. the cycle to commute revolution in Pune can be achieved with the following Notification for bicycle friendly workplaces in Private and Government offices and colleges in PMC and PCMC areas. This should include provision of Changing rooms, Shower facilities, Cycle Stands Pop up lanes on major roads near IT parks and colleges Many colleges and IT parks have large campuses which attract a large number of students and employees. Pop lanes around campuses can ensure more use of Public Bicycle Sharing systems by students and employees in these areas. Dear Punekar, Pune city has already pioneered the concept of a true bicycle friendly city thanks to citizen participation and PMC’s efforts. We have a chance to take it a step further by making it a city that Cycles to work”. [1] https://www.pmc.gov.in/en/cycle
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  • 33,000 trees: Stop the PRR project
    33,838 trees, 25 acres of forest land and 6 water bodies are under threat due to the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project in Bengaluru. The Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) has been arguing that only 200 will be cut, using an erroneous Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for four years now. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) rejected the report based on the submission by the Horticulture and Forest Department that about 16,685 trees need to be felled. The BDA have now admitted that in fact over 33,000 trees will be felled for the project. The sheer number of trees and the environmental impact has been hidden by the BDA for the past few years -- this is unacceptable! Can we still call Bengaluru a Garden City? Let’s fight for what’s left of it. Source: https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/bengaluru-not-200-over-33000-trees-to-go-for-peripheral-ring-road-865300.html
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  • Let's make Guwahati the most cycling friendly city in India
    The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more and more people trying to avoid public transportation for fear of contracting the virus and like in other parts of the world, India experienced a boom in bicycle sales during the corona virus pandemic. Although most Indian cities are not bicycle-friendly, there has been a sharp increase in recreational cycling during the pandemic as people try to beat cabin fever during lock-downs, get exercise, or avoid commutes on stuffed public transport. People now feel the need for private transport more than ever. And a major section can still not afford cars, so cycling presents an opportunity like no other. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said the pandemic has presented an opportunity to make cities more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. In a June advisory, it recommended pedestrianization of at least three markets in every city and more bicycle lanes. Given, there is a push for cycling at a national level. Let us demand our local civil administration like Municipal Corporation, Guwahati Metropolitan Development Corporation to take some steps in the right direction. Join the movement to make your city cycling friendly.
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  • Cities in Maharashtra need 'Lakh ko 50' buses, NOW!
    We need more buses for our city! We are college students, office goers, factory workers, domestic helps, service providers, school children, housewives, caregivers, . . . We rely on buses to get to work, school, office, factory. But the public bus system in our city is really bad. We are tired of waiting endlessly, traveling in a crowded uncomfortable bus, day in and day out. Some women think twice before accepting a job that’s far from home, worried about their safety in overcrowded buses. College girls feel the same. When we travel in buses we pollute less, occupy less road space and don’t add to the congestion on the roads. We deserve a reliable, affordable, safe and comfortable bus ride. Some of us travel using our own two-wheeler or car. We would like to, but we just can’t use the bus. It is not reliable, it takes too long, it’s too crowded and the routes are not convenient. There is no last-mile connectivity. Instead we end up spending a lot on our vehicles. Plus the stress of driving and the fear of being in an accident. I know it would be better for us and the city if we use a bus. We want a reliable, affordable, safe and comfortable bus service. Half the population of Maharashtra lives in cities. These are the cities that drive the economy of the state. We help to run this “economic engine”. But these cities are congested and polluted. One of the reasons is that we just don’t have good public transport - starting with the number of buses. They say a city should have at least 50 buses per lakh residents. “Lakh ko 50”. The sad situation in Maharashtra is shown in the video below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE7-5w1nmTE Enough! We want you to strengthen public transport as a part of Mission Begin Again – make our bus commute comfortable, convenient, affordable and safe – help revive the economy and create healthy cities for healthy people. We the urban residents of Maharashtra demand that the State take responsibility and action · Make provision of bus service mandatory for cities · Announce a financial package to get enough buses running
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  • Two wheels for change: Join the cycling revolution
    What’s a convenient yet sustainable mode of transport that holds the potential to transform our mobility patterns in a post-Covid world? Just two wheels. If you saw more cyclists hitting the streets in the past few months than you have seen in the last few years, you wouldn’t be alone. With the dip in air pollution levels and fewer vehicles on the streets, the lockdown period gave us a peek of what our busy cities have the potential to look like with mindful planning and a responsible citizenry. The sharp increase in recreational cycling during the pandemic had different motivations -- people trying to beat lockdown-induced cabin fever, sneak in some much needed exercise, or taking it for a spin to run short distance errands. That’s why, this August 15, we’re dreaming of a different kind of independence. From fuel. From toxic fumes-spouting vehicles that clog our streets, and our systems. And we’re not alone. Our Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry recently issued an advisory recommending pedestrianization of at least three markets in every city and more bicycle lanes. Let’s face it -- our cities are not bicycle-friendly. The movement has begun, and we need millions of citizens to rally behind it. Join the campaign to make India cycle-friendly. Change begins with us. And don’t forget to show your support by getting out with your bike on August 15. Together we can!
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  • Let's make Nashik cycling friendly
    The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more and more people trying to avoid public transportation for fear of contracting the virus and liike in other parts of the world, India experienced a boom in bicycle sales during the coronavirus pandemic. Although most Indian cities are not bicycle-friendly, there has been a sharp increase in recreational cycling during the pandemic as people try to beat cabin fever during lockdowns, get exercise, or avoid commutes on stuffed public transport. People now feel the need for private transport more than ever. And a major section can still notafford cars, so cycling presents an opportunity like no other. India's Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said the pandemic has presented an opportunity to make cities more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. In a June advisory, it recommended pedestrianization of at least three markets in every city and more bicycle lanes. Given, there is a push for cycling at a national level. Let us demand our municipal corporation to take some steps in the right direction. Join the movement to make your city cycling friendly.
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  • Make Mumbai the cycling capital of India
    Mumbai has the makings of a great cycling city - but it needs to set the wheels in motion. Cycle Chala City Bacha envisions making CYCLING the preferred mode for commute and a way of life across all the 24 wards of Mumbai. Our Vision is to make Mumbai the Cycling Capital of India by 2030. Though lacking in infrastructure, Mumbai shares many characteristics that are at the heart of cycling-friendly Dutch cities. What’s one of the biggest worries that plagues commuters in Mumbai, year after year? It’s traffic jams and the unease of using public transport that’s densely populated. But in the past few months due to the pandemic, we’ve seen the city’s avid cyclists hit the streets, taking advantage of the minimal cars on the road. Which brings us to an important point -- why not look at cycles as more than just as a form of recreation/ exercise? The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wants its citizens to use bicycles as a part of its green initiative. It’s also in the process of introducing an app-based Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) system. To create an impact both - increase in ridership and basic infrastructure there are a few challenges, especially around uniting citizens to the cause and convincing to encourage fence sitters to adopt cycling. Cyclists of Mumbai have a unanimous voice when it comes to bare minimum necessities in terms of sharing the roads with motorised transportation and to ensure road safety for everyone. As part of making Mumbai truly cycle friendly, we demand - Pothole-free roads, minus paver blocks which are a huge hindrance for cyclists and discourage young kids and teenagers from adopting cycling due to the fear of injury. - Provide bicycle parking stands i)in/ near every school which will help students to use them. ii)near shopping hubs/markets which will encourage people to go to market on bicycle iii)in business complexes which will encourage corporate employees to use bicycles as a way to commute to work. iv)Malls and theatres - Initiate a A Non Motorised Transport cell with a yearly budget of 300 crore earmarked towards cycling infrastructure.
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  • हर लाख पर 50 Bus - Unite to demand more buses
    As India recovers from the pandemic, we are faced with the challenge of reviving the economy and restoring the livelihoods of millions. India’s Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs (MOHUA) recently issued an advisory which says, “Public transport is the backbone in urban areas especially for the low/middle-income commuters for which these services are the mainstay of their daily transit needs. COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to visit different Public Transport options and come out with solutions, which are green, pollution-free, convenient, and sustainable. Such a strategy must give major focus on Non-Motorised Transport and Public Transport” Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself said at the Global MOVE summit that, “public transport must be the cornerstone of our mobility initiatives” and emphasized the need for mobility that is “safe, affordable and accessible for all sections of society which includes the elderly, the women and the specially-abled”. Indeed a vast number of people depend on public transport for their daily commutes in cities, be it college students, office staff, factory workers, domestic help, service staff, school children, housewives, caregivers . . . the list goes on. Dependent as they are, the priority for these people is affordability, and ease of access. During the nation-wide lockdown, it was city buses that were in operation, proving to be the lifeline for frontline relief workers. There are only 30,000 public transport buses plying in cities in India which mean less than 8 buses per lakh people. The service-level benchmarks of MoHUA itself set a desirable target of 60 buses per lakh population. Our cities continue to grow – from a current 377 million urban population to a projected 590 million by 2030 and a whopping 875 million by 2050, but the buses needed to cater to the needs of commuters continue to fall woefully short. The Indian government must realize that many among us cannot afford to own vehicles and depend on public buses to meet our commuting needs. Many cannot drive a personal vehicle, such as senior citizens, children, and persons with disabilities. Those who have no option but to use a personal vehicle end up paying a lot more for their commutes and are constantly staring at ever-increasing fuel prices. And many would gladly ditch their motorcycle or car and avoid the daily hassle of traffic jams and the stress it creates, whenever public transport becomes a comfortable option. Additionally, MOHUA ’s advisory asked cities to develop plans for bus fleet expansion to implement physical distancing norms realizing the significance of having public buses so that bus commuters can travel to work safely. A scheme to get 100,000 buses plying in urban areas would need an outlay of Rs 66,000 crores. This would be a much-needed stimulus for the economy, create jobs and get cities moving again. Investing in this small amount for the larger good is important now. Bus commuters demand that MOHUA backs this advisory with financial commitments to help all cities achieve a target of a minimum 50 buses per lakh people. We know it is doable but needs a political will in ensuring financial assistance and incentives through a clear centrally funded scheme, it will be impossible for cash-strapped states to implement the advisory. This is an urgent need and presents an opportunity to strengthen and transform our public transport system. We call upon Hardeep Singh Puri to rise to the challenge and respond to this crisis by investing in public bus systems that will help revive our economy by enabling people to travel safely, economically and provide ease of access. Join the movement demanding at least 50 buses per one lakh people in every city. Together we can and we will. श्री हरदीप सिंह पुरी जी, यह बहुत जरूरी है और सही समय है, सार्वजनिक बसों को बढ़ाएं, तत्काल प्रभाव से बसों में निवेश करके देश और देशवासियों को इस कोरोना तथा आर्थिक मंदी के संकट से बहार लाने में मदद करें और अपनी ज़िम्मेदारी निभाए! திரு. ஹர்தீப் சிங் பூரி, தற்போதய நெருக்கடிக்கு பதிலளிக்கும் வகையில், நமது பொருளாதாரத்தை புதுப்பிக்க, பொது பஸ் அமைப்புகளில் முதலீடு செய்து', மக்கள் எளிதில் அணுகி , பாதுகாப்பாக, மலிவான விலையில் பயணிக்க உதவ வேண்டிய சரியான தருணம் மற்றும் அவசர தேவை இது என்பதை தெரியப்படுத்துகிறோம்
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  • Save Mollem National Park, Goa
    *UPDATE*: This campaign is now in the second stage. Appeals will be made to the Centrally Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court to run a thorough enquiry into this matter. Please find the letter to Mr Amarnatha Shetty, Member secretary at CEC with the citizens' demands and requests here https://bit.ly/3j7vNwO The Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa are spread across 240 sq km of protected area in the Western Ghats. Together, they are home to pristine vegetation classified as West Coast tropical evergreen forests, West Coast semi-evergreen forests and moist deciduous forests and was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1969. But now, Goa is set to lose 55,000 trees and 185 hectares of forest cover -- three major projects have got the green light in June from MOEF for the widening of the existing National Highway 4A, railway line double-tracking and construction of a new power line. 149 people comprising scientists, academicians, conservationists, artists, allied professionals as well as concerned citizens wrote to Prakash Javadekar, Environment Minister expressing their displeasure on this decision. This letter is further backed by 400 medical students, 150 tourism stakeholders, and the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa. The land in contention is home to more than 721 plant species, 235 bird species, 219 butterfly species, 80 odonate species, 70 mammal species, 75 ant species, 45 reptile species, 44 fish species, 43 fungi species, 27 amphibian species, 24 orchid species, and 18 species of lichens. More so this is an important tiger corridor between Goa and the adjoining Kali Tiger Reserve in Karnataka. The letter also mentions that water scarcity will increase by several folds across Goa if these projects see the day of light. Two of these projects were cleared during the COVID-19 lockdown in April through a video call by the standing committee of the National Board of Wildlife. While there are EIA reports for all three, the transmission project report isn't available for the public to view. Let us stand in solidarity with the concerned citizens of Goa by asking the Member Secretary of CEC to cancel the clearance of all these projects that will result in the destruction of 185 hectares of forest cover in Goa. Join this campaign to remind the environment ministry that all development projects must be sustainable and not at the cost of destroying and disrupting so many lives.
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  • Respect Court order, halt tree cutting in Bengaluru
    Bengaluru trees are under threat! As the city is grappling with woes of lockdown and slowly trying to recover, Bengaluru’s civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) quietly gave permission the chopping of 165 trees. On June 7, the BMRCL began cutting trees along Bannerghatta Road, even as the Karnataka High Court was yet to issue directions to the BBMP in this regard. On June 9, more trees were cut on this stretch, during the night. The cutting of trees continued until the High Court of Karnataka had put a stay on the issue on 10 June 2020. The Karnataka High Court expressed dissatisfaction over Tree committee’s approval for chopping of trees for the construction of the Pink Line metro rail project undertaken by the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited. The High Court of Karnataka has emphasised on the need for tree census multiple times. BBMP has not followed the Court-prescribed process and a number of healthy trees that were marked to be transplanted have also been chopped off. As the entire world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of our trees hangs in the balance. Bengaluru’s civic agencies should not use this crisis( by fast-tracking development projects without due process )to create worse one for the city of Bengaluru. Sign the petition now to urge Bangalore civic authorities to respect the decision of Karnataka High Court. The court’s decision is for all to follow, Government bodies should not be an exception. Sign the petition now to save trees of Bengaluru Sources https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/bangalore/others/court-halts-the-chopping-party/articleshow/76308998.cms https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/bmrcl-cuts-trees-under-shadow-of-night-before-high-court-hearing-on-matter-847833.html https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/despite-court-directive-bbmp-allows-trees-be-chopped-metro-construction-126259
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  • India needs a Healthy and Green Recovery
    COVID-19 brought India to a complete standstill. During this period, the country has also been hit by cyclone ‘Amphan’ on the east coast, cyclone ‘Nisarga’ on the west coast, and an attack by swarms of locusts that destroyed over one lakh acres of cropland in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The entire situation has resulted in numerous lives lost, mass unemployment and the economy plummeting, and the millions of the most vulnerable continue to battle unimaginable suffering. Though all these incidents need to be understood as manifestations of a disruption in the ecological balance, and accompanying climate change. They cannot be viewed in isolation. This is why it's more important now than ever to ensure that as lockdown norms ease, and India plans its economic recovery, it does not again come at the cost of the environment. The lockdown imposed due to the pandemic resulted in a sharp decline in overall pollution levels. Citizens experienced the cleanest air in over two decades. We need to re-imagine a post-lockdown world where we nurture the environment while moving on development. Policy decisions and investments on critical relief and essential recovery measures must not come at the cost of the environment. They should focus on clean, renewable sources of energy, protecting our rivers and skies, and prioritising pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. Join us in the demand of a #HealthyRecovery, a Green recovery.
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  • Bangalore needs Bannerghatta, not a statue!
    Bangalore is undergoing the onslaught of COVID19 with 141 new cases discovered today, on the 1st of June. Yet on the 30th of May, inspired by the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, the Minister of Housing in Karnataka announced plans to build a similar statue. A 120-feet statue of Swami Vivekananda at Muthyalaya Maduvi waterfall near Bannerghatta National Park (BNP). This statue is set to occupy 3 acres of land a mere 10 kms from BNP. At a time when Karnataka is struggling with COVID19, a migrant labourer crisis, and a daily increase in cases - this statue will cost funds that could be better used elsewhere. Environmentalists are opposing the government’s decision not only for the damage it will cause and the trees it will fell but also as severely compromises Bannerghatta National Park. Making this area a high-density tourist spot will put an increased burden on the already thinning eco-sensitive zone of Bannerghatta National park. This eco-sensitive zone that was cropped by almost half, earlier this year and this decision is currently in courts. While promoting tourism in the state is important, it is equally important to ensure that it is not at the cost of severe environmental damage. The unsustainable and potentially damages blasting required for the statue construction needs careful geological investigations. Additionally, environmental impact assessment and social impact assessment need to be conducted and so far the reports of these assessments have not been considered, let alone made public. Thankfully the plans for this statue have only just been voiced. A formal proposal is yet to be made. Which means we must act now! If enough people lend their voice to the fight we can put an end to this foolhardy plan. Let’s make sure it’s clear to the Chief Minister of Karnataka that Bangaloreans do not stand with this plan. We will not let them move forward with the construction of the Swami Vivekananda Statue. Bannerghatta National Park is Bangalore’s treasure trove of greenery, it will not be lost to a statue we do not need. Sources: https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2020/06/01/karnataka-to-erect-120-feet-statue-of-swami-vivekananda.html
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