I was sitting in my car at a traffic light the other day and happened to look upwards. What a beautiful sight I thought to myself. The branches of the tree grew outward, with its leaves covering nearly the whole road extending till the other side providing shade from the sun to me and other commuters on 2 wheelers, cycles and other forms of transport. For a moment, I just stared upwards at the cover of leaves feeling lucky that we still have that in Bangalore.
But for how long? We’ve all seen how many trees are getting felled. How the Metro has destroyed some of our best roads. But we’ve got to make efforts, we have to do everything possible to retain our green cover, plant more trees, start thinking in a more eco-friendly manner.
It’s heart-warming to see people cycle to work nowadays – all geared up with their helmets and face masks – what a great step it is towards de-clogging our roads. It’s one less person in a car. Imagine, if even a few thousand of us got onto bikes and cycled to work, what a change this city can see! I tried cycling to office myself one day to see if I could manage the traffic. And yes – it was bad – but I made a start. Now, at least I know I can do it.
And I don’t think it’s that big a deal once you start. Yes, there’s traffic. But you’re being a part of the solution, not the problem when you start looking at eco-friendly ways of commuting instead of the fuel guzzling alternatives. Try it out sometime – maybe once or twice a week. It’s worth it. You’ll realise that a 10km distance on a cycle is actually not much at all.
And besides you’ll have the intense satisfaction that you’re doing your bit towards making Bangalore traffic more bearable. Many people say they “can’t” do it, that they can’t handle the traffic. But I don’t believe this is true – anything is possible – you just need to start. Even in our vehicles we have to battle traffic. It’s the same thing on a cycle, except that you’re on 2 wheels and it’s actually sometimes easier! I went from not knowing how to cycle (last year) to slowly making my way around on cycle in Bangalore and hopefully will be more confident in traffic in a couple of months. It’s an effort but it’s definitely worth taking!
Here’s an initiative that believes in “Doing good while doing well“. Net Impact is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire, educate, and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.
When : July 17, 2009
Where : Bangalore – From home to office/college and back home
Who : You, me and every Bengaluru resident.
And not just the 17th, let’s sustain this everyday!
More details here:
Facts we should worry about:
1. Bengaluru’s population is about 8 million.
2. Bengaluru is considered to have the highest density of traffic in the world.
3. Traffic population is doubling every 5 years.4. Road space used by a person in a bus is 3% of a person in a car and 5% of a person in 2 wheeler.
5. Air Quality Index (AQI) is between 150-300 in different areas of Bengaluru. AQI>100 is severe air pollution.
6. Bengaluru has the highest number of 2-wheelers in the world.
7. About 40 lakh ltrs of petrol and 80 lakh ltrs of diesel is consumed each day in Karnataka alone