By Sajila Saseendran www.khaleejtimes.com
About 7,000 cars are expected to be off the roads in Dubai this Wednesday as the private sector joins the Dubai Municipality’s annual Car-Free Day initiative in its fourth edition.
Nearly 30 entities, including government departments and ministries, will also take part in the civic body’s environmental initiative to make it bigger and better this time.
Over 1.5 million vehicles ply on Dubai roads everyday and the carbon emission from the transport sector contributed to 47 per cent of the air pollutants in the emirate when the municipality launched the initiative in 2010. The aim of the initiative is to protect the environment by promoting the use of mass transport, especially the Metro and the buses, which also contributes to reducing road traffic congestion.
“We also aim to have a new achievement for Dubai as an eco-friendly city through the registration of this initiative in the name of Dubai, locally and globally, as it gets a huge response every year from the public and government and private sector organisations,” the Director-General of the Dubai Municipality, Hussain Nasser Lootah, said at a Press conference on Sunday.
“All parking lots of the municipality and other participating organisations will be closed throughout the day,” he said.
What began as an internal initiative for the Dubai Municipality employees, the first Car-Free Day saw the participation of 1,000 vehicles, deducting three tonnes of carbon emission. The initiative later encouraged many employees of the municipality to adopt a new lifestyle of using the Dubai Metro. The civic body now has nearly 200 employees who gave up their cars for coming to work.
“In 2012, the number of participants increased to 18 resulting in taking 3,500 vehicles off the roads and reducing 10.5 tonnes of carbon emission. This year the civic body hopes to double the results in terms of the number of participants and conservation of environment,” Lootah said.
Appreciating the enthusiasm of the public in supporting such eco-friendly initiatives, he urged more entities to participate so that Dubai can eventually observe a “day without cars”. Those interested in participating can register their details at the municipality’s website through the link https://carfreeday.dm.gov.ae/. More info