Monday, November 19, 2018

Police to dedicate Guru Nanak’s 550th birth year to pedestrian safety

TNN | Nov 18, 2018, CHANDIGARH: Page 8
Sanjeev Verma

As a tribute to Guru Nanak Dev Punjab Police are going to campaign for pedestrian safety and ensure the right to walk during the year-long celebrations of his 550th birth anniversary.
The state police are going to carry out a study, starting from Amritsar, to make road crossings safe and pedestrian friendly, to promote cycling, to encourage point-to-point cycling and to know as to where authorities can come up with pedestrian tracks. The study will also focus on the aspect as to how to cater to various safety issues while designing roads and to improve the existing infrastructure.
Amritsar-based Guru Nanak Dev University's Guru Ram Dass School of Planning is helping the state police in carrying out a study to improve pedestrian safety. The first meeting on the project between the state government as well as planning school's officials was held on November 16 in Amritsar.
The campaign holds significance as more than 1,100 pedestrian deaths were reported last year on various roads in Punjab. Suresh Arora, DGP, told TOI that the state police would create awareness among masses through seminars and awareness camps towards creating respect for pedestrians and their safety. "We will do inter-departmental coordination to improve their safety through better infrastructure, especially in urban areas," he added.
"Pedestrian safety is very important as 30% of the people who are killed on roads are pedestrians," said ADGP (traffic) Sharad Satya Chauhan. He added majority of these victims are from poor sections of society. "Police department is also taking up the issue with the state government to declare Guru Nanak's birthday as Pedestrian Day since he himself was a great walker," said Chauhan. This project is the brainchild of Punjab traffic adviser Navdeep Asija as well as the ADGP (traffic). Asija said that by not confining it to Punjab, he would request the state government to take this matter with the UN, with the help of central government through diplomatic channels, to dedicate one day as 'International Day of Pedestrian'.
Punjab and Haryana high court has already issued directions to the Punjab government, along with Haryana and Chandigarh authorities, to create car-free zones in each city to promote walking zones. Cities like Shimla, Gangtok, and Leh and also Sector 17, Chandigarh, have got such walking zones.
Also, the World Health Organisation's report says by 2025, in India alone there will be 161% rise in diabetic patients, especially in urban areas, and walking is considered as the best exercise to control diabetes. 'Tandrust Punjab' mission director Kahan Singh Pannu said, "Under 'Tandrust Mission' also, our sports and youth affairs department is going to motivate youth clubs in villages to come up with walking clubs to inculcate the habit of walking among villagers."
He added 550 indigenous fruit and other plants would be planted in every village of the state. These will be provided by the forest department. Plantation will start from February next year to end with Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary.

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