Sunday, February 6, 2011

Second "Car-Free Day" on 9th Feb

Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality on Sunday announced the second "Car Free Day" of the Municipality employees, an environmental initiative that tasted huge success last year.

As per the initiative more than 1,500 employees in the Dubai Municipality headquarters and the nearby offices of DM will leave their cars at home and use other public transport means to reach their offices on Wednesday, 9 February.

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 press conference was also attended by Sultan Butti Bin Mujrin, Director General, Dubai Lands Department and Ghanem Al Marri, Director General, Etisalat, Dubai

The environment initiative, for which Dubai Municipality bagged the Idea Arabia Award last year, is 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.

Lootah said the Municipality parking lots will be closed on that day as all the employees are requested to use alternative mass transport system to reach work.

Lootah said he expects this year to achieve more environmental benefits from the initiative due to the cooperation and added efforts of other government departments.

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.

"This is a move to encourage following environment friendly traits that contribute towards preservation of the environment by way of not using personal vehicles by the employees. This will also highlight their role in protecting the environment and encourage employees of other departments in the emirate of Dubai to practice sustainable environmental behaviours and reduce the emission of carbon dioxide that pollute the air," said Lootah.

He 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. 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," he said.

Lootah 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.

"Our decision will also support government projects of public transport. We are setting an example and we hope more people will follow suit," said Lootah.

He said he expects better result this year. "The kilometres to be saved per employee may vary as a number of employees travel daily to the DM offices from different locations," said Lootah.

He said the transport sector contributes 42% of the gas pollution in the emirate and the carbon dioxide emission per vehicle varies from 110-250 g/km.

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