A Green Ride! MBC & SAC Bicyclists Rode the City Spreading Message on Pollution

A Green Ride! Mangalore Bicycle Club (MBC) & St Aloysius College (SAC) Bicyclists Rode the City Spreading Message on Pollution

Mangaluru: While most of the citizens were still in bed being a lazy Sunday, but for nearly 50 cyclists, members belonging to Mangalore Bicycle Club, and students of St Aloysius College, Mangaluru, it was an early Sunday morning fun day, riding their bicycles to bring awareness on pollution created by smoky vehicles and other means. Regional Transport Office, Mangaluru in association with city-based Anti Pollution Drive ( APD ) Foundation and Mangalore Bicycle Club, Sunday 2 December morning observed “Green Ride” where a bunch of cyclists pedaled from RTO premises and rode through main streets of Mangaluru.

This ride was also the part of the new campaign #STOPSMOKYVEHICLES launched by RTO and APD to put a cap on smoke emitting and polluting vehicles in its jurisdiction. The programme will continue the month of November and cover entire Mangaluru city and include Mulki, Moodbidri and other peripheral areas. Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) will also collaborate with RTO Mangaluru in this campaign.

John Misquith Regional Transport Officer-In-Charge speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “The objective of #STOPSMOKYVEHICLES campaign is (1) To highlight the importance of maintaining vehicles in good and non-polluting conditions; (2) To stop unmaintained and smoke emitting vehicles from plying on the road polluting the environment and damaging human health; and (3) Provide a platform to showcase that the citizens of Mangaluru do care about its people and the environment”.

“As part of this campaign, RTO Mangaluru in association with KSPCB will be undertaking spot inspection of vehicles for pollution levels. Charge sheets will be filed on the owners of polluting vehicles and we will also be imposing fines on the offending parties. Hence the public is informed to keep their vehicles in good condition and cooperate,” he added.

Before flagging off the “Green Ride”, Senior Motor Vehicle Inspector Ravishanker addressing the Cyclists said, “Due to heavy pollution in the district lots of people are getting sick and even losing their lives. As vehicles are increased in Mangaluru, the pollution has also increased. Motorists don’t do an emission test, therefore the City had bad smoke pollution. Riding a bicycle is a very good idea to bring down pollution. Students who go to college/school, and workers going to the workplace should switch to cycling mode of travel. We should all join together to make Mangaluru as much smoke polluted City”. Assistant RTO Gangadhar, Vehicle Inspector Poornima, and Senior Inspector In-Charge Ajila Vishwanath were present along with RTO John Misquith during the ‘Green ride” flag off.

Preema Tauro and Ashita Pinto, both faculties at St Aloysius College, who were in-charge of SAC cyclists said, “This is indeed a good awareness programme for the students so that they could ride to college on a bicycle rather than take other modes of transport. Youth need to be aware of the increasing pollution in the City, and they need to be health conscious also. We appreciate the initiative of RTO, joined by APD and MBC in organizing this event and making us also part of this awareness programme”.

Also speaking to Team Mangalorean, Abdullah A. Rehman, Founder-Chief of APDF said, “Smoke emitting vehicles have been our target right from the beginning. In fact, the Anti Pollution Drive Foundation began its journey with a Facebook campaign called ‘Stop Smoky Vehicles’. Hence we are delighted that RTO Mangaluru and other government departments have recognized our expertise and involved us to contribute in the drive against vehicular pollution. It’s also nice to see that members of MBC and St Aloysius College students have joined in this effort to curb pollution. APD Foundation will conceptualize, plan, coordinate and execute awareness and research-oriented aspects of the campaign. This includes conducting continuous educational video sessions at the RTO Office for the benefit of the citizens visiting the office to highlight the impact of air pollution and motivate them to maintain their vehicles in good condition. Street plays and road shows will be enacted at various public venues around the city.

Rehman further said, “APD Foundation, under its Shuddha Gaali programme, will undertake a health impact assessment of air pollution on outdoor workers like street vendors and roadside shopkeepers. Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) will be done on this target group using portable PFT machines. Data will be collected from an estimated sample size of about 400 citizens who work alongside roads having dense traffic. This data will be further analyzed by a team of trained pulmonologists and the report will be released by RTO Mangaluru during a function in the first week of December”.

It is learnt that every Mangalurean produces an average of 787.85 Kg Carbon Dioxide per year; 26.3% Traffic Police in Mangaluru have restrictive lung capacity because of air pollution from vehicles; Baikampady, Lalbagh, PVS, Attavar, Bejai, Bunder, Central Market, Bunts Hostel areas have the highest pollutant contents in the air in Mangaluru; 19% of the rickshaw drivers in Mangaluru suffer from lung problems; It is a small subset of 10% of the smoke emitting vehicles that contribute maximum to air pollution by vehicles. DID YOU KNOW? DELHI is named the MOST Polluted City in the WORLD; 13 of the top 20 most polluted Cities in the world are in INDIA; Annually air pollution kills 6,00,000 people in India alone!; Asthma in Children in largely aggravated due to air pollution.

The cyclists rode from RTO via Hampankatta, K S Rao Road, M G road, Lady Hill, Urwa Store, and returned back through M G Road, Kodialbail, Bunts Hostel Road, Jyothi, Balmatta Rd and culminated at the RTO- and everyone had a sumptuous breakfast.

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A Green Ride! MBC & SAC Bicyclists Rode the City Spreading Message on Pollution

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Richard Thomas

All these campaigns are an eyewash when it comes to building better roads, better traffic signs, better traffic management and policing, and keeping those smoking/polluting buses and trucks off the roads. Worst than Pollution is the state of the roads during the rainy season and thereafter – and no matter how many craters exist on the main road, nothing is ever taken up to get them fixed, even on a dry day. So far booking and penalizing has had minimum or no effect at all – and this PUC law is simply a business, that is set up on a… Read more »