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Pollution control, campus style

Capital college pledges no-vehicle day twice a month

FOR A GREEN CITY: Students and teachers of SS Memorial College take the no-vehicle day oath in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Manob Chowdhary

Ranchi: SS Memorial College - one of the oldest constituents of Ranchi University - has become the first institution arguably in the whole of Jharkhand to take a concerted decision to observe no-vehicle day twice a month to buffer rising emission levels in the city.

The exemplary campaign was launched on Tuesday morning at a low-key ceremony on the Kanke Road campus and in a token gesture, all students, teachers and members of non-teaching staff arrived either on foot or by using public transport.

Principal Shamshun Nehar, who administered the no-vehicle oath at the function, said they had decided to do their bit by curbing pollution every second and fourth Saturday of a month. "This may be a small beginning, but we hope that the trend will catch up soon and others (schools/colleges) will follow suit," she said.

Founded in 1972 and named after a zamindar who donated land, Suraj Singh (SS) Memorial College currently has 7,000 students on its rolls, besides 80 teaching and non-teaching staff. On an average, 35 personal cars and 150 two-wheelers are brought to the campus by professors and students.

A couple of days ago, the college authorities had issued a circular on its proposed no-vehicle mission. "And, we were glad to see the enthusiasm for compliance among students and staff. Many of them walked to campus today (Tuesday) as we launched the awareness drive. Others used public transport. Not a single emission vehicle was brought to campus," said Nehar.

Summer holidays are scheduled from May 21 and the no-vehicle Saturdays will come into effect once the college reopens on June 21.

On how they planned to ensure the campus campaign was sustained, the principal said through social initiatives. "Protecting the environment, saving fuel and checking global warming is the responsibility of every human being on this planet. Social campaigns are needed more than punitive measures. Students and teachers are under oath to follow the no-vehicle rule. Reminders will be sent, if necessary, in the future," she said.

Anand Kumar Thakur, assistant professor of zoology, said he had decided to cycle to the campus from his Kanke Road home, 1.5km away. "If teachers follow the rule, students will feel motivated to do so," he said.

Kaushal Sinha, a Part-I student pursuing his MA in history, said his class of 300 was planning to float a volunteer squad for proper implementation of the no-vehicle Saturdays. "Personally, I will ditch my bike in favour of auto-rickshaws," he added.

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