A small tehsil of Ferozepur district in the state of Punjab in India has set an example. They have freed up space from cars in busy market centre and introduced rickshaw cabs.
Air and mobility facts
- There are 45,000 vehicles in this tehsil
Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka: The Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka (GWAF), a non-profit organisation consisting of professionals (lawyers, engineers, doctors etc) is setting examples for mobility action.
Action: Fazilka has banished cars from its busy central market centre, Ghanta Ghar and pedestrianised it completely. It is now served by non-motorised cycle rickshaws, known as ecocabs. A car-free zone has been created in the Ghanta Ghar market that is enforced between 10 am and 7 pm. Architect Bhupinder Singh, patron of the GWAF and former professor at IIT Roorkee has played an important role in designing this project. This has found a lot of support from the local shoppers as this has led to appreciable increase in business in the area. Vendors in the area are actually happy as the sales have soared. Customers are more relaxed, as they do not have to jostle with parked vehicles. A town spanning 10.29 sq km, Fazilka can easily become a pedestrian's city with vehicles used only to transport goods. It has also become the first town in the world to have a dial-a-rickshaw facility.
Ecocab centres work along the lines of dial-a-cab service. There are five such centres catering to the five different unions of the cycle rickshaw pullers in Fazilka. This innovative concept has been put into practice by setting up Ecocab Call Centres in the town. There are about 500 rickshaw-pullers in Fazilka and their union is cooperating in the implementation of the scheme.
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