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Happy Streets programme in Kochi from May 1

first_imgKochi, Apr 21 (PTI) Kochi Metro Rail Limited, in cooperation with Ernakulam District Administration, Kochi City Traffic Police, GCDA and Kochi Biennale Foundation is organising a Happy Streets programme here on the lines of a programme called Raahgiri, which is a regular event held in more than 15 Indian cities. The concept of Happy Streets is that on Sunday mornings, a major road in town is temporarily closed to traffic and given back to pedestrians, cyclists and other Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) users. It is a great opportunity for people to reclaim the streets for peaceful and festive uses. The reclaimed public space is used for open-air activities such as sports and cultural activities. KMRL said first such event will be held on May 1 from 6.30 am to 10.30 am on Shanmugham Road. Major Indian cities now have this as a regular event: Delhi (4 locations), Gurgaon, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, and the list is long. “It is a very scalable event that can be adapted to the size of the city concerned and will increase with the number of the participants and sponsors. In Gurgaon, the event had been launched two and a half years ago, and a million people have already participated in the same,” a KMRL official said here. The KMRL official said the efficiency of the Raahgiri has been proven in many ways. “It has helped increase the number of bicycles on the roads (28 per cent of the participants bought bicycles after Raahgiri), and the modal share of NMT (87 per cent of the participants started walking/cycling on a regular basis after Raahgiri),” the official said.advertisementThe image of the Raahgiri itself changed dramatically amongst the population, from 80 per cent who opposed it before the event to 79 per cent in favour of it, post the event. As KMRL is already engaged in an approach to increase the use of NMT, it was decided to conduct one such event in Kochi, as it is the best option to create sensibility towards the use of NMT, the official said. “Though the event is an initiative of KMRL, it will be organised with the support of the District Administration, Kochi City Traffic Police, GCDA, Kochi Corporation, Kochi Biennale Foundation and partners like NGOs, local sports and arts clubs and other like-minded organisations who are also working in this area,” she added. PTI TGB RClast_img read more

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