Open House: What steps should Panjab University take to make monthly car-free day initiative successful? : The Tribune India

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Open House: What steps should Panjab University take to make monthly car-free day initiative successful?

Publicise event well, aid eco-friendly commute

Open House: What steps should Panjab University take to make monthly car-free day initiative successful?

PU Vice Chancellor Renu Vig on her way to office along with the Registrar and the DSW (Women) on a car-free day. - File photo

Rome was not built in a day. The Vice Chancellor of Panjab University should have started the car-free day experiment once a month with one of the departments so that persons residing far away could have made prior arrangements. Slowly and slowly, more departments could have been engaged in the initiative. Since the university has its own fleet of buses, a proper publicity regarding the various bus routes could have led to less chaos. Last but not the least, it the moral duty of all citizens to contribute their bit to reduce pollution and improve the air quality index.

Savita Kuthiala

Employ e-vehicles on car-free day

The decision taken to have one day in a month as a car-free day is a good step to raise awareness on the importance of pollution free atmosphere. It has become a global issue. Since the campus is housed in an enormous area of 550 acres and is now housed in two sectors - 14 and 25 - both teachers and students need good alternative means of transport. More of e-vehicles be put to service to transport teachers and students from the two main gates towards Sector 15 and the PGI. Valet parking can be introduced for teachers at the two gates. Their vehicles be parked in Sectors 24 and 25.

NPS Sohal, Chandigarh

Promote use of bicycles

Chandigarh's dedicated cycling infrastructure is a treasure. With the city's compactness, cycling can cover it in under an hour. I urge Panjab University to promote daily cycling. Encouraging students and faculty to adopt cycling with recognition for regular users can lead to a car-free campus. Let's reserve cars for those in need, preserving the city's beauty and air quality.

Vijay Katyal

Make car-free day a regular affair

Panjab University's decision to check traffic congestion and make the campus pollution free by observing car-free day once a month has many a slip between the cup and the lip. Senior faculty members should set an example and ride their way to the campus on bicycle every day. However, they only frame policies in air-conditioned rooms. Community interest will have to take precedence over individual convenience. People need to be made aware through various means to make use of the bicycles on a permanent basis to tackle the problems of pollution and traffic congestion.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Provide accessible options, incentives

Panjab University should enhance its car-free day initiative by providing advanced communication, accessible alternatives and incentives for carpooling along with stricter parking restrictions. Flexibility in schedules, continuous monitoring and community engagement will be key to its success. The PU can also work with local businesses and organisations to make the day more enjoyable. For example, business houses could offer discounts to customers who come on foot or by bike. Organisations could host events and activities on the campus to encourage people to come out and enjoy the day without their cars.

Prithvee Yakhmi, Chandigarh

PU should start its own bus service

The PU should start a bus service for students and staff to ease vehicular rush on the campus. e-rickshaw facility should be provided for movement within the campus. Outsiders should refrain from entering the campus without verification. There should be a ban on bringing cars to the PU, which will not only cut down on vehicular traffic, but also bring a pause to the show-off culture at the temple of education.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali

Offer alternatives to students, employees

The Panjab University's decision to implement car-free day once a month is not feasible at all, unless alternative arrangements are made for students and staff. Special local buses should be run on this day for them. We all know how auto and taxi operators jack up fare on such occasions. Parking should not be free on the campus.

Sukhwant Bhullar, Chandigarh

Publicise event well in advance

Panjab University should increase awareness, communicate the initiative well in advance to all students, faculty and staff and explain its benefits. This can be done through e-mail, social media and posters. Provide alternative transportation, shuttle bus service, e-rickshaws and bicycles to help people move around the campus on car-free day. However, people should be allowed to drive to the campus under special circumstances. Organise events and activities on a car-free day to make it enjoyable.

Gaganpreet Singh, Mohali

Varsity should Assess impact of initiative

To make the car-free day initiative a success, the PU should improve public transportation on the campus and promote carpooling options for those coming from faraway places. Develop pedestrian and cycling infrastructure on the campus to encourage sustainable commuting. The university should continuously assess the initiative's impact and gather feedback for improvement.

Amanjot Kaur, Mohali

Take faculty, students in the loop

Involve students and faculty in planning and organising the car-free day and solicit their feedback and suggestions. Create a sense of ownership and participation among the campus community. Make the car-free day fun and engaging by organising activities and competitions that promote walking, cycling or public transport. For example, offer rewards or incentives to those who use the most sustainable mode of transport or create a car-free day challenge or quiz.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

Need for enquiry kiosks near gates

The PU must arrange for ample parking space near gates for visitors and introduce electric buses on the campus for students and visitors. Many residents of campus are working outside the tricity and a solution must be found for them for commuting to their places of work. Earmark one gate (gate 3) for entry/exit by residents. An enquiry counter near gates will reduce the entry of many people on the campus.

Prof Harminder Dhanoa, Chandigarh

Initial hiccups will end with time

The car-free day initiative of Panjab University is a welcome step. The hiccups students and staff faced on the first day would certainly end with time. The university must put in place few electrically operated autos to convey aged and differently abled people to their departments. The UT Administration, along with the PU authorities, has to make arrangements for parking of vehicles belongs to students and staff coming from outside Chandigarh.

Wg Cdr JS Minhas (retd), Mohali

Senior officials should take the lead

The car-free decision is very beneficial for general public health besides controlling pollution and traffic. The university authorities should motivate their staff members and students to use bicycles or other environment-friendly modes of transport. To start with, senior officials and faculty members should stop coming on four-wheelers. This would set an example for others to follow.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali

Incentivise those volunteering

Instead of imposing a blanket decision on bringing car to the campus, the car-free day should have been a voluntary initiative. To ensure greater participation, the university authorities must also announce various incentives for volunteers. People commuting from faraway places should be provided with public transport services like buses and intra-campus bus shuttle service.

Saikrit Gulati, Chandigarh

Dedicate CTU buses to ferry faculty, pupils

The UT Administration should encourage such initiatives and instruct CTU management to coordinate with the university in respect of special routes of buses for the car-free day. Cabs may offer concession to PU students and faculty. The university could send its own buses to ferry students and faculty to and fro the campus. It may hold awareness campaign for the special day through text messages and posters.

Kirpal Singh, Chandigarh

Hold awareness campaigns

Panjab University should hold awareness programmes for its initiative. Students and professors must be made aware about advantages of the campaign. Rallies should be organised to make visitors aware of the car-free day. The campaign can be successful only with people's support. In extreme cases, special car passes should be issued.

Biragam Singh, Rajpura

Entertain no excuse for using car

All employees and students should reach the campus by bus or on bicycle on no-car day. Lame excuses for coming on four-wheeler should not be entertained at all. All main gates be locked to ensure that no one tries to enter the complex in a four-wheeler.

KC Rana, Chandigarh

Enhance means of public transport

To successfully implement the car-free day initiative, Panjab University should enhance public transportation options, incentivise carpool, develop cycling infrastructure, raise awareness, monitor compliance and establish a feedback mechanism. These steps will encourage the PU community to embrace eco-friendly commuting, making the initiative more effective and sustainable.

Gurdev Singh, Mohali

No excuse for those living on campus

The PU staff and students staying on the campus can surely use bicycle or walk their way to offices and departments. However, those staying far away from the campus may be allowed to use their vehicles though it will be better if people avoid using four-wheelers. It is the prime duty of the administration to make everyone aware of the car-free day in a month. If the initiative is observed in letter and spirit, it will be successful and set an example for others.

MR Bhateja, Nayagaon

Duty of all to make PU move success

The car-Free day once a month is an excellent initiative by Panjab University. It is one of the many steps required for a sustainable, greener, healthy environment for residents, students and staff of the university. It becomes the moral duty of each and every individual associated with the PU to come forward voluntarily and motivate others for the cause.

Vijay Shukla, Chandigarh

Subsidise e-vehicles for students

Observing a car-free day once a month is not a practical solution to make Panjab University a pollution-free campus. Rather the university should encourage bicycles as a mode of transport. Use of electric scooters/cars may also be encouraged by providing subsidies to students. Lastly, there is a need to speed up the metro project which will help in boosting pollution-free measures. Waste management is another field which must be given top priority to control pollution and keep the campus clean, green and pollution free.

Col TBS Bedi, Mohali

People will realise affects of pollution

It's good to know that the Panjab University management has decided to observe car-free day once a month. Such initiatives make people realise how much pollution affects our lives. Vehicle emissions are one of the main sources of outdoor air pollution, particularly in cities. Most cities have been designed around mobility for cars, and it is high time we changed this and started designing cities around human mobility.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

Varsity should Permit use of e-vehicles

It is an appreciable move to observe a car-free day on the PU campus every month. Plying of e-vehicles could be permitted on these days as it would encourage their use. Students and other visitors to the campus can be transported to various departments on e-cart shuttle service.

SS Arora, Mohali

Take steps to make project workable

It is important to mobilise educational, administrative and political departments to protect environment from air pollution. If a policy is made for such a cause, it should be followed by student as well as faculty instead of making excuses of long distance. Efforts should be made to make the project workable by walking or cycling or even providing golf carts to those in need. Availability of e-bikes on the campus may help too. Debating or only teaching in books cannot help make earth pollution free.

Charu Malhotra, Mohali

Allow e-vehicles to enter campus

Since the problem of pollution lies with the use of fossil fuel-run vehicles, electric buses, cars and two-wheelers may be allowed. It can be implemented on a daily bases as well. If Panjab University ensures strict adherence, students and staff will fall in line.

Antra Rakheja, Chandigarh

Hold drives to garner support

Panjab University should adjust class schedules and working hours to accommodate those who have to rely on personal vehicles for commuting. Along with this, the university must raise awareness about the environmental and health benefits of the initiative by holding campaigns to garner support. Create safe and well-maintained walking paths for those who live nearby.

Anita K Tandon, Mundi Kharar

Penalise those flouting directive

The Panjab University's decided to observe a car-free day once a month. The initiative evoked a mixed response as students and faculty residing away from the campus still chose to drive to the university. The PU administration should impose a fine on those not following the direction.

Adish Sood, Amloh

Arrange parking space outside campus

Every new step takes some time to become successful. The PU's basic problem is that it does not have ample parking outside the campus. The PU should arrange for parking of vehicles outside the campus before implementing the decision. Besides, bicycles and rickshaws should be provided for a free commute on the campus.

Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh


The city reported 7,790 dog bite cases in just eight months this year, surpassing the count of previous two years. Apart from sterilisation, what other measures should the UT Administration and Municipal Corporation take to address the issue?

Suggestions in not more than 70 words can be sent to [email protected]

#Panjab University Chandigarh

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