Thursday, February 10, 2011

2,500 local department staff join DM Car-Free Day initiative



More than 2,500 employees from three local departments joined Dubai Municipality's Car Free Day initiative on Wednesday by travelling to office using different means of public transport such as Metro and public transport buses.
Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality led the large contingent of officials from Municipality in the environmental initiative organized by the civic body for the second consecutive year. Lootah and his colleagues embarked the Metro at Rashidiya Station and came to Union station adjacent to the Municipality.
The initiative, launched in 2010, is being observed this year in cooperation with the Land Department, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Etisalat and the Roads and Transport Authority.
The small ceremony held at the Municipality staff parking area, which was empty on Wednesday, was also attended by Sultan Butti Bin Mujrin, Director General, Dubai Lands Department and Ghanem Al Marri, Director General, Etisalat, Dubai.
Lootah, who expressed his happiness on the increased representation of local departments in the initiative, said that from next year onwards the Municipality will try to rope in the private sector establishments.
The ceremony included an environment-friendly car show, bio diesel project, a photo exhibition on the last year's initiative, for which Dubai Municipality bagged the Idea Arabia Award, and a commemorative tree planting by Lootah and other officials.
A religious lecture by Sheikh Abdullah Al Kamali titled "Islam and Environment" was also organized at the Municipality's City Hall as part of the Car Free Day initiative.
"The Car Free Day was organized to encourage the local community to care their cities the best way by reducing the number of vehicles, especially those used on city roads and also to raise awareness on alternative means of transport," said Lootah.
He recalled that last year the initiative could save the environment from three tonnes of carbon dioxide emission as more than 1,000 vehicles of employees did not reach the Municipality, in addition to the vehicles of the DM customers.
Lootah said the Municipality will come out with a detailed report about the result of implementing the initiative, which will include the statistics about the volume of carbon dioxide emission reduced due to the initiative by calculating the number of participants and the kind of vehicles they use.
"We will encourage every employee to use mass transport as much as possible in the future also. When we initiated Car Free Day last year many of our employees have made it a regular practice. More than 100 employees are using Metro for the last one year to commute to and from the office. We have given them free Nol cards that are being renewed every month," he said.
"We are happy that other departments and public have come out in supporting our initiative. Environment is not only the responsibility of the government bodies. All the people have a role and responsibility towards its protection," said Lootah.
He said the civic body decided to adopt the Car Free Day concept as it facilitates a number of steps that enhance the opportunities for achieving sustainable urban transport followed by enhancing the air quality in the urban area as well as reducing carbon dioxide emission, which is considered to be a hot gas that causes climate change.

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