For a while it lookes like Jakartanswould be able to breathe cleaner air, at least on Saturday,with motorized vehicles to be banned from entering the Old Town area in West Jakarta. But at the last minute, the city administration cancelled its ground-breaking “No Car Day” project – because the preparation were not complete.
“We were informed by the organizer at a Friday meeting that it had been cancelled due to technical problems “Yosiono Anwar Supalal, an official at the air control division of the City Environmental Management Board said Friday.
No Car Day is the part of the 2005 Air Pollution Control By Law , Which requires the administration to hold the event once a month as part of campaign to reduce dependency on private vehicles.
The West Jakarta municipality was to close streets around the old Town Ares from 6 a.m to 4 p.m and then measure the level of air pollution in the area to determine how much was produced by private cars.
Yosiono said No Car Day would be held in North Jakarta in August and then around Jl. Jend. Sudirman and Jl. Thamrin in Central Jakarta in September.
International Car Free Days Falls on Sept 22. the concept was first introduced in France in 1998 but has quickly become popular in other countries.
In Bogota, Sundays are car-free days.
Green activists have organized car-free days in Jakarta, one of the world’s most polluted cities, since 2002, but the events were only held on Sundays in the city’s main throroughfares from 6a.m to 3 p.m,when much of the population is at home.
It was reported that pollution levels dropped by 20-30 percent during the events
Jakarta has long been under pressure to improve its air quality
As of April this year, there had only 23 days of “good” air
Last year, there were only 45 ”good air” days in Jakarta.Far Lower than 108 days recorded in 2000.
The administration has said poor fuel quality and rising ownership of private cars had contributed greatly to the city air pollution.
It said there were at least 2.5 million private cars compared to only 255.000 public transportation vehicles in the city.
Clean Air Project Swiss-contact expressed concern over the cancellation, saying it would further discourage people from switching to public transportation.

From : The Jakarta Post


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