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Time to take a walk to work

Time to take a walk to work
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The Hans India editorial (11th September): 'Deepening crisis in auto sector', are sheer realities of the slowing-down

The Hans India editorial (11th September): 'Deepening crisis in auto sector', are sheer realities of the slowing-down - "a clear signal that India's economy will suffer severe recession", as the editorial concludes.

It's true that auto is one of the three major sectors in Indian economy that is suffering. The other two are software/BPO and pharmaceuticals.

But is it also not true that auto sector is absolutely 'unique' for the factors affecting it and the factors it affects: products literally driven by skilled human beings, road tax, insurance, substantially imported fuel, injury and loss of life in accidents, and above all the environmentally-worrying emissions? Is it also not the time and opportunity (blessing in disguise?) to 'segregate' auto-sector from other sectors of economy.?

The entire gamut of rapid public transport/pooling of vehicles/taxis//alternate transport is a serious effort to reduce environmental pollution and foreign exchange expenditure.

We should increase our research, design, development and innovativeness in this direction. It is a partial solution but a healthy trend. Unlike other sectors, auto-sector may be allowed to grow only-where-and-when-absolutely- needed. Auto-sector advertisements every 60 seconds on TV will then appear superfluous. Let us 'advertise' "walkativeness" rather than "talkativeness".

We can develop and improve pedestrian-friendly encroachment-free-footpaths (EFF) and bicycle-paths. Employment opportunities too will grow. My suggestion fits into Prime Minister's FIT INDIA.

If we must copy, do it what Vancouver's top priority is: a) Create safe, accessible, and enjoyable walking environment, (b) Enhance walking network and become the greenest city in the world by 2020, (c) Support walking by making it safer, more comfortable, and more accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

That will be our new definition of a global city with enhanced tourist inflow! Are we ready for the change in the mindset?

Prof B R Sant, Hyderabad

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