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Appeal from cyclists

Make the city cycle-friendly — this was the message cycling enthusiasts sent out on Friday.

Ride to Breathe, a group of cyclists, and Switch On, an NGO, appealed to the city police commissioner to join them in Cycle Satyagraha, a peaceful walk to “Re-cycle Calcutta” this Sunday.

Calcutta police barred bicycles from 174 thoroughfares in May. The order, under the West Bengal Traffic Regulation Act of 1965, was an extension of a notification issued by the police in August 2008, banning bicycles from 38 thoroughfares between 9am and 7pm.

Cycling enthusiasts are of the opinion that banning is not an option, planning and building a cycle-friendly infrastructure is the need of the hour. “At a time other Indian cities are realising the need to accommodate cycles on the road, Calcutta is banning them,” said Binay Jaju, the co-founder of Switch on.

Gautam Shroff, the co-founder of Right To Breathe, stressed on the economy factor. “With the increase in fuel price, we must encourage use of non-motorised vehicles.”