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UK, DULT partner for clean air initiative in Bengaluru’s Church Street

Bengaluru: Security officials stand guard at the entrance of church street, which is closed for motor vehicles during the Clean Air Street initiative on weekends, in Bengaluru, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020.  (PTI)Premium
Bengaluru: Security officials stand guard at the entrance of church street, which is closed for motor vehicles during the Clean Air Street initiative on weekends, in Bengaluru, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. (PTI)

As part of the Clean Air Street initiative DULT has decided to close down vehicular movement on Church Street, located in the central business district of India’s technological capital and one that is frequented by people of all ages, between 12 pm on Saturday to 12 am on Sunday (every weekends) from Friday till February next year

Bengaluru: The Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT) and the Catapult Network that brings together nine technology centres established by Innovate UK (part of UK Research and Innovation) have joined hands to initiate measures to combat rising air pollution in India’s technological capital, Bengaluru.

As part of the Clean Air Street initiative DULT has decided to close down vehicular movement on Church Street, located in the central business district of India’s technological capital and one that is frequented by people of all ages, between 12 pm on Saturday to 12 am on Sunday (every weekends) from Friday till February next year.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to prove that targeted activities to reduce motor vehicle traffic can help reduce pollution, improve quality of life and be beneficial to local businesses,"

V. Manjula, the DULT commissioner said in a statement on Friday.

The Clean Air Street initiative is part of the wider innovating for clean air (IFCA) programme being rolled out in phases across the city.

Bengaluru is home to over 10 million people and over 8.5 million vehicles. Poor mass mobility infrastructure has forced more people to depend on private vehicles for daily commutes that has added to the deteriorating quality of air and water pollution in a city that was always known for its green cover and cool climate.

Vehicular emissions is the biggest cause for pollution in Bengaluru followed by construction activity, according to the government.

Successive governments have spent disproportionate amounts of money to beautify some roads like Church Street while most other parts barely have basic infrastructure.

Rapid, unchecked and unplanned expansion of Bengaluru has added to the city’s challenges.

Church Street was developed as part of a brand building exercise for Bengaluru that had become synonymous with bad roads, crumbling infrastructure, mismanaged garbage, poor quality of civic works and traffic snarls.

DULT has said that businesses on the nearly 800-meter Church Street will be allowed to extend their seating outdoors temporarily.

The Indian Institute of Science - one of the partners in this initiative - will be carrying out research to gauge the impact on the quality of life for local residents as well as the economic impact on businesses, according to the statement.

“The launch of the Clean Air Street Initiative is an example of India’s forward movement on climate action, and it shows what we can do when we work together," Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, the minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth said.

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