Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 17:
For the first time ever in Odisha, Raahgiri day was celebrated today for about four hours between Master Canteen square and Ram Temple square of Bhubaneswar.
Motorized vehicles were suspended during 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM and denizens across all age groups were seen skating, doing yoga practice, cycling, playing rock music, street play, painting and walking on the 1.2 km stretch of open road.
“This is a move intended at curbing pollution and it also is a social gathering. Besides, this will encourage cycling, yoga and healthy living,” said BMC Mayor Anant Narayan Jena.
“This really is a good initiative. I always believe that the pedestrians get the least amount of space on the road. We are always afraid to cross the road. Today was the day for pedestrians to reclaim the road,” said Bollywood actor Nandita Das.
Later, a friendly cricket match was played among the dignitaries. Among other activities OTDC had opened a food court in the area and a free health check up had also been organised for the participants.
NALCO sponsored 100 sports bicycles from its CSR fund for the promotion of motor free transport system.
The event jointly organised by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC ), Bhubaneswar development Authority (BDA) and Commissionerate Police, was attended by Bollywood actor Nandita Das, Tourism & Culture Minister Ashok Panda, Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Pattasani, Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhy, BMC Mayor Anant Narayan Jena among others.
With an objective of making the city pollution free and provide a healthy life to its denizens, BMC and BDA intend to organise ‘Raahgiri’ each Sunday from 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM on the same stretch for next one month and would extend it to one year, if the first month turns out to be a success, said an official press release of BMC.