New Delhi : The Delhi government on Sunday held its second car-free day with a rally in Dwarka. Speaking at the rally, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: "So many people have gathered here today, I guess residents of Delhi are ready to use cycle once again."
"If we could reduce number of cars running on the Delhi roads, then we can successfully bring down the air pollution. Before the event started, I was concerned if people will come and support us and if I will be able to ride a bicycle after 25 years. But the response was overwhelming," he said.
Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai announced that the next car-free day will be organised in December at Patparganj in east Delhi. On January 22, 2016, a city-wide car free day would be organised, the chief minister said.
"I know a state wide car-free day will be very difficult... but we are hoping that at least 5-10 percent of the people will abide by our request. Even I'll travel to my office by bicycle on that day."
"For one day, I plead Delhi residents to promote this initiatives at their work place and use public transport instead of cars," Kejriwal said.
All praise for the event, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said: "People from all walks of life have gathered here today. From chief minister to legislator to businessmen and government officials, everyone who has come here today is saying that one should opt for cycle instead of cars for one day."
People from across the national capital gathered in Dwarka to participate in the bicycle rally.
"We have developed a hybrid powered vehicle (bicycle) which can be operated both manually and through battery power. So, for today's event we are driving it manually," said Aakash Garg, a final year B.Tech. student from Ghaziabad.
Residents of Dwarka came flocking in thousands despite the early morning chill.
Suryapal Singh, a 66-year-old Dwarka Sector 12 resident, said: "We must cooperate with any good decision taken by the government, whether it is pollution, road safety or electricity. I am happy to see that many more people of my age are here today to participate at this rally."
More than 3,000 people gathered at the rally to support the car-free day.
Around 250 personnel of Delhi Police, Delhi Civil Defence and Delhi transport department were present on the occasion. West Delhi's 12 constituencies - Bijwasan, Palam, Tilak Nagar, Hari Nagar, Madipur, Dwarka, Matiala, Janakpuri among others - came together to participate and organise the event.(IANS)