Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fazilka eco-cab clinches National Urban Mobility Award-2011

Praful Chander Nagpal
Fazilka, November 30

The eco-cabs of Fazilka have become a national benchmark for the best transportation project for the country in the area of non-motorised transportation (NMT). A leading NGO of the border town, the Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka (GWAF), has been declared as winner of the country's most prestigious National Urban Mobility Award-2011 by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, today evening.

The award was selected amongst the best and unique practices being followed across the country. The award would be given by the Union Minister of the Urban Development Kamal Nath on December 6 at the concluding day ceremony of the fourth Urban Mobility India Conference-2011 in New Delhi.

Notably, the best non-motor transport practice award is given annually to a city that uses non-motor transport innovations to increase mobility for all residents while reducing transportation greenhouse and air pollution emissions by increasing accessibility, safety and comfort.

The award would jointly be received by the GWAF general secretary Navdeep Asija, patron Dr Bhupinder Singh on behalf of the GWAF, Deputy Commissioner Dr Basant Garg and Anil Sethi, president, Municipal Council, Fazilka.

"The first credit goes to traction men at Fazilka, who made it possible and this recognition of our small city community effort would surely set trends of many other cities in the area of urban transport and environment protection," said Navdeep Asija, founder, ecocabs and secretary (admin) GWAF.

Eco-cabs are basically dial-a-cycle-rickshaw similar to dial-a-cab started in the year 2008 at Fazilka with an idea to strengthen existing unorganised network of cycle rickshaw and its promotion as a post-modern technology for a short distance travelling. The concept was launched for the first time in the World at Fazilka, an Indian border town and district headquarters of Punjab near the India-Pakistan Border by the GWAF. Later, in the year 2010, principal secretary (Tourism) Geetika Kalha decided to launch the same scheme in the holy city of Amritsar around the Golden Temple area.

At present, the scheme is successfully initiated in 22 cities of Punjab. Now, at Fazilka, city is being served via nine eco-cab call centers from where the user can dial for rickshaw at doorstep. Each traction man carries mobile phone for direct calling facility and Its android application is also available in the market.

The eco-cab dial-a-rickshaw project is with light weight rickshaw equipped with luggage space, FM radio and drinking water facility.

Fazilka eco-cabs got a big boost when on April 28, last year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo-moto in one of the news item and ordered the Government of Punjab, Haryana states and UT Chandigarh to implement it in various cities of Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh.

Notably, the prizes are given under nine different categories and Fazilka eco-cabs have been adjourned as the best innovative practice using cycle rickshaw under non-motor transport category, this year.

Municipal Council (Fazilka) has constructed new eco-cabs stands for the rickshaw pullers."Our traction men are real green warrior and project eco-cab is nothing but a support to these eco-warriors, who pedal everyday for the sustainability of the planet," said Dr Bhupinder, Patron, founding member (GWAF) and retired professor from the IIT Roorkee.

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