Mumbai’s deep green Winin Pereira used to ask people singing the praises of ‘progress’ if they thought it would be a good move for every family in India to have a car – a debate-halting move; no-one ever agreed that it would. Brave souls aplenty ride cycles on India’s roads – some carrying remarkable loads.
In Britain, environmentalist Jonathon Porritt is very enthusiastic about the Tata proposals for a solar electric car, which would not, however, solve the congestion problem.
Under communism, owning a private car was an impossible dream in China. The Financial Times reports, “ Now that the dream has come true for tens of millions of Chinese, they are waking up each day to a life of traffic jams and smog”.
The Chinese government is now alarmed by the effects of air pollution on the health of its people due to the rapid increase in car ownership – and congestion is also a problem. Several local authorities across the country have set up schemes to encourage people to use bikes.
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