MUSSOORIE, Jan 10
All it took to try and ease traffic and pollution on Mussoorie Dehradun Road was a bright idea from senior advocate Aalok Mehrotra. Inspired by his son and daughter in law in Delhi who use a car pool from Delhi’s Greater Kailash to Supreme Court; 62 year old Mehrotra started a WhatsApp group of car poolers in Mussoorie. The group which started on December 1 last year, already has 63 members who make frequent trips between Dehradun and Mussoorie. Members post about their trip plans in advance. From a reputed dentist to hoteliers to businessmen to youngsters, several people are using the group.
“The idea is to help the environment and also help cut the traffic on the Mussoorie Dehradun road which is becoming a rather big problem in whichever small way we can. I am sure the group will grow and become more popular. Traffic is becoming a big problem here and this is a small solution I could think of,” smiles Mehrotra.
What is making the group popular is the fact that you are talking of a small town where most people know each other.
Pranav Sahni who works in Dehradun and commutes everyday from Mussoorie is a frequent user of the Car pool and swears by it. “To begin with, it’s a great boost for the environment. Secondly Mussoorie is like a small village in terms of everyone knowing the other person. It helps to keep those relationships intact. Also driving up or down alone can get lonely so this is brilliant.”
Interestingly thanks to the personal equations, it is not just people but also important things that are being carried. For example Rajat Aggarwal saw “Aalok Uncle” carry some important papers for him recently. “I was in Doon and needed some papers from Mussoorie. Aalok Uncle happily volunteered to carry them for me. That is the warmth of a small town.”
The group in fact is also catching the fancy of Mussoorieans working in similar locations out if town. Mussoorieans travelling to or from Delhi for example have also started posting in it if they have plans of driving down and any local in the capital wants to join in or vice versa. Jatin Kapoor who lives and works in Delhi saw two locals join him for a trip during the Christmas Break.“It’s lovely to be able to feel connected with people from your home town. That it is also helping the environment and traffic is of course the larger picture. It’s a brilliant idea for sure!”
The group is also becoming popular with women who like the safety of travelling with locals they know.
Mehrotra meanwhile hopes the idea catches up and grows more in number. “By summers I hope many more would join in and avail services”, he signs off.