IS KOLKATA READY TO CYCLE?
Despite all the environmental friendly and healthy aspects of using cycles, cycling is legally BANNED on most of the main thoroughfares of Kolkata. Yes BANNED. Many have protested and are still doing, trying to squeeze in bits and pieces of cycling revolution in this restricted city.
Still, is cycling rare and remote? No it is a striving means of commute for many. Thanks to the maze of gullys typical to Kolkata. Most of these people are labourers or daily wage earners. The habit of cycling for commute is almost non-existent among middle class people. First reason being the ban, second being the large distance of commute, and third being lack of safety and security.
Talking about distances, an average person commute almost 10 km. Cycling can be harrowing for such long distances. So an alternative means can be electric bicycles. The pedal assist modes can ease up the travel to a large extent. Electric bicycles do not even cause harmful emissions or noise pollution. It is beneficial all way round.
Coming back, other than just commute, there are so many biking communities in kolkata that conduct long rides everyday or periodically. Usually their areas of travel are Newton saltlake grid . Yet there are a few which conduct rides in South Kolkata as well. These communities are working hard on popularising cycling in kolkata.
Well, a good initiative is cycle renting project in kolkata . NKDA has given a statement that it will soon launch cycle renting facility in Newtown with 100cycles and 30 parking spots, where people can park their cycles for nominal fees. Along with dedicated bicycle tracks, which is a huge deficiency in a busy city as Kolkata.
But for the sake of the health of our city and it’s denizens, bicycle tracks are a necessity. Dedicated bicycle tracks are a significant step toward encouraging cycling as a preferable mode of transport. it will definitely push more people to give up burning fuel, and choose cycling, a clean mode of transport that doesn’t leave a carbon footprint!
The conclusion; newer areas of Kolkata are vying for more environmental safe approach of cycling, so why can’t the rest of the city. If people are enthusiatic, the government is bound to make amends to the ban. Cycling revolution and Eco friendly revolution is what the world has geared up for. Why remain ignorant and behind. Let’s cycle and let’s transform Kolkata to a safe and healthy city