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#TheCycleOfChange: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Talks About The Learnings Of Coronavirus Lockdown

Highlights

  1. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari talks about the positives of lockdown
  2. Air pollution and road accidents have seen a huge dip: Nitin Gadkari
  3. After lockdown, people will have to change their behaviour: Minister

Deaths, economic meltdown and millions of people under a strict lockdown: the novel coronavirus has brought us a series of bad news. But the silver lining in all this is that since the lockdown has begun, nature has been given a rest and it has never looked more beautiful. Our skies are blue and the air is clean. With a motive to keep these environmental gains from slipping away once the lockdown is lifted, NDTV and Hero Cycles have joined hands and initiated a campaign #TheCycleOfChange.  As a part of the campaign, a two-hour telethon was organised, experts, social activists and celebrities came together to discuss these positive changes.  Minister for Road Transport and Highways of India Nitin Gadkari too joined the telethon and explained how one can maintain the positive change of seeing blue skies even when the lockdown is lifted and said, 

Since 7-8 years, I have been pushing for e-vehicles. If we switch to e-cycles, cars, scooters and other vehicles, one can continue to see the drop in air pollution levels which we are seeing now amid the lockdown.

Highlighting the other positive of the lockdown due to coronavirus, he further said that in India not just pollution levels but even accidents have gone down. He added,

We used to have 5 lakh accidents every year now this has reduced as well. Lockdown has definitely given us time to think that we all need to maintain our environment.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari also said that to make our society better the need is to bring together three things - ethics, economy and ecology. 

Talking about the use of cycles and making India a cycle-friendly country, Mr Gadkari added,

As a transport minister, I want to uplift the use of cycles in our country. We have done a small initiative in the new highway which we are working on - Delhi-Meerut expressway, we have included a small lane for cyclists. Now, in the market, we also have electric cycles, which is cost-effective as well. I think, now slowly and steadily, everyone needs to change their transport attitude as well in order to maintain the many positives of the environment that we are seeing now due to lockdown. People will need to stop using petrol and diesel vehicles and instead switch to electric automobiles. We should depend more on public transport than on our own vehicles. At policy levels, we have initiated these changes and will continue to strengthen it more in the coming years.

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COVID-19 remains a health emergency and a deadly threat, especially to the most vulnerable. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been responding to the global pandemic since it began. MSF doctors and nurses are treating patients and supporting communities across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia.

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