Today, most people in urban areas across the country will either be walking to work or using public transport as Pedestrian Day is followed to commemorate the World Environment Day on June 5.
A Press Release sent by the Cabinet Secretariat on behalf of the Interim Government says, “In keeping with the prevailing policy decisions of the Royal Government issued earlier vide Government Circular No. C-3/146/338 of 22 November 2013, June 5, World Environment Day shall be observed as Pedestrian Day every year in the country.”
The release goes onto to say that the Cabinet Secretariat would, therefore, like to remind all enforcing agencies across the nation to ensure that the Pedestrian Day is observed from 8.00 AM to 6.00 PM on 5th June 2013, as done on the first Sundays of each month.
The PDP president Tshering Tobgay has said that he and his party does not agree and has never agreed with the concept of Pedestrian Day.
He said, “One of the promises of PDP is that if we form the government we will immediately do away with Pedestrian Day.”
He explained that PDP had listed the doing away of Pedestrian Day, as one of the first programs in the first 100 days period of his government.
He said, “Pedestrian day in being implemented does not meet the stated objectives. You are not encouraging but forcing people to walk, making people unhappy, compromising with the dignity of the people and affecting efficacy.”
The PDP president said that while he was happy to walk, but that does not mean that he also forces others to walk. He said that apart from affecting ordinary people Pedestrian Day also affected the economy negatively.
He said that PDP, if voted to power, would do away with the mandatory Pedestrian Day, and instead replace it with other non mandatory initiatives.
“We can instead educate and encourage people to walk, make it easier and safer to walk, promote healthy living and make it fashionable to walk,” said the PDP president.
Tshering Tobgay said that the enforcing the Pedestrian Day on the World Environment Day was a wasted opportunity. “Instead of celebrating the day and making people aware you are essentially forcing them to walk to office and work,” he said.
Meanwhile, DPT’s Yeshey Zimba said that his party had not thought on the issue of Pedestrian Day as yet. “We have not thought about it yet, but later we will see it as per the convenience of the people.” The former minister declined to comment on the stand taken by PDP.