Venkaiah Naidu says his ministry will launch a 'liveable index' for cities. (File)
"Life is becoming hell" in cities due to private vehicles, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said today, adding every city should shift focus to non-motorised modes of transport such as cycling. "Adding vehicles is becoming a major problem. There are one crore vehicles in Delhi; Mumbai will not be lagging behind. Life is becoming hell," he told reporters here yesterday.
"Focus should be on non-motorised transport. I want every city to have cycle tracks," the minister said, adding he was amazed to see over a third of the population in Berlin, across economic strata, commuting by bicycle.
Mr Naidu said there is a change in our lifestyle where things are becoming more sedentary and less physical, and cycling will help keep us fit. "Our lifestyles have changed and we do not do physical work anymore. Physically there is no activity at all," he said.
"There has to be a cycle track in every city. It is mandatory especially for the cities which are expanding," he said, adding pedestrian paths are also necessary. Mr Naidu said people have "successfully" destroyed forest cover in cities over the last few years. He said it is difficult to tell if it is possible to recover he lost forest cover.
Mr Naidu said his ministry will launch a "liveable index" for cities that will assess the areas based on water supply, sanitation, electricity, public transport and non-motorised transport network.