Fazilka’s Ecocabs have become a national benchmark for best Transportation project for the country in the area of Non-Motorized Transportation (NMT). Today, Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka, awarded as winner of country’s most prestigious National Award of Excellence in the area of Non Motor Transport by the Union Minister of Urban Development Mr Kamal Nath. The award was selected among best and unique practices being followed across the country. The award was given at the concluding day ceremony of the 4th Urban Mobility India Conference-2011 at New Delhi. The best Non-Motor Transport practice award is given annually to a city that uses non-motor transport innovations to increase mobility for all residents, while reducing transportation greenhouse and air pollution emissions by increasing accessibility, safety and comfort. The award jointly received by Navdeep Asija Founder Ecocabs, Dr Bhupinder Singh, on the behalf of GWAF, and Mr Anil Sethi, as President, Municipal Council Fazilka.
“The first credit goes to traction men at Fazilka, who made it possible and this recognition of our small city community effort will surely set trends of many other cities which in the area of urban transport and environment protection” said Navdeep Asija, founder ecocabs and secretary (admin) GWAF. Project Fazilka Ecocabs got big boost when on 28th April 2010, honorable Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo-motu in one of the new item appeared in English daily and order Government of Punjab, Haryana state and UT Chandigarh to implement the same in the varies cities/towns of Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh. Team GWAF is thankful to Chief Secretary Punjab Mr S.C. Aggarwal who personally took this pain to get it implemented across the state. Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board (PHTPB) have also implementing the Ecocabs in the tourist cities like Amritsar and Patiala, in both the cities Ecocab pilots are also trained as tourism guide. First phase of training at Patiala has already been completed. In Patiala Local NGO “The Patiala Foundation” is the force behind the successful implementation of GreenCabs at Patiala.
The Minister also honoured exemplary work shown by State organizations and gave away Awards for Excellence in Urban Transport in other eight categories. In the category of Best PPP Initiative in urban transport, Bhopal Municipal Corporation won the award. Award for Best Clean Development Mechanism Project for modal shift was won by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. Pune Commissionerate of Police was awarded in the category of Best Intelligent Transport System Project (runners up). For New Initiative in Traffic Engineering and Management, the Joint winners were also Pune Commissionerate of Police and Karnataka Commissionerate of Bangalore. The Mumbai Air Traffic Control System was awarded in the Commendable Emerging Initiatives Category. For Inclusive development KSRTC were awarded for Introduction of Modern City Bus Service in Tumkur (Karnatka). Each year, cities, projects and initiatives under various heads of urban transport are recognized, based on nomination of entries to the Institute of Urban Transport and winners are adjudicated by a jury of experts constituted by the Ministry of Urban Development.
This Year more than 1000 participants from all over India and delegates from more than 20 countries participated in this annual event. This year conference theme was ‘Sustainable Mobility’.
Municipal Council Fazilka also played an important role towards the successful implementation of Fazilka Ecocabs. New state-of the art ecocabs stands have been created, single door clearance system for ecocabs operators etc.
“Our traction men are the real green warrior and project Ecocab is nothing but a support to these eco warriors, who pedal everyday for the sustainability of this planet, this award is recognition to their efforts, I also congratulate our team of youngsters like Navdeep, Nitin, Gautam, Ashok Felix on this success and we are also thankful to Mr Anil Sethi, President Municipal Council Fazilka, Punjab Government, Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board, Punjab Police (Traffic), Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Hibird Cycles Ludhiana , Sandeep Enterprises and our all donors who helped us to make it big and grand” said Dr Bhupinder, Patron, founding member GWAF and retired professor from IIT Roorkee.
Ecocabs are basically dial-a-cycle-rickshaw similar to dial-a-cab started in the year 2008 at Fazilka with an idea to strengthen existing unorganized network of cycle rickshaw and its promotion as a post modern technology for short distance travelling need. The concept was first time launched in the World at Fazilka, an Indian border town and district headquarters of Punjab near India-Pakistan Border by the Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka. Later in the year 2010, Principal Secretary (Tourism) Ms Geetika Kalha decided to launch the same scheme in the Holy city of Amritsar around the Golden Temple area. This was the first recognition to the efforts of GWAF and with the help of then Deputy Commissioner Amritsar Mr K.S. Pannu and Punjab heritage and Tourism Promotion Board scheme was successfully introduced in Amritsar as well. At present the scheme is successfully initiated in the 22 cities of Punjab with the help of district administration and local NGO’s and growing further. Now at Fazilka, city is being served via 9 Ecocab call centers from where user can dial for rickshaw at doorstep. Each traction man carry mobile phone for direct calling facility and Its Android Application is also available in the Market.
At present rickshaw is a source of livelihood of 3 lakh rickshaw families in Punjab and project Ecocab resulted as a biggest livelihood and environment project in which, 60 lakh people travel on rickshaw in Punjab Every day, followed by saving of about 1 Crore litre of fuel per day and 15 Crore kg of fresh being saved from burning. One of the biggest employment generator sector got big boost through Ecocab advocacy. For residents of Fazilka it is a celebration time, as first time any National Award in the form of recognition of came to Fazilka. Soon, Ecocab men and their family member will pay a visit to Golden Temple Amritsar for thankful to almighty.
“this is a matter of pride for Fazilka and upon arrival at Fazilka team will be honoured by the citizen of Fazilka for this great success”, said Paramjit Warar, president Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports Club, Fazilka