The Telegraph
Sunday , August 31 , 2014
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Pedal to zoo, walk and get bicycle gift

Patna, Aug. 30: The environment and forests department has launched an eco-friendly scheme for joggers coming to the zoo in order to bicycling as fitness as well as to protect the environment from vehicular pollution.

The morning walkers registered under this scheme would be issued a coupon each day at the cycle stand at gate No. 2 of Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park. Several prizes would be distributed to the cyclists, who would collect the highest number of coupons. Those who would collect 80 coupons in the scheme of 120 days would be gifted a cycle (see chart).

“Apart from environment conservation and reducing traffic load on the streets, the cycle promotion scheme also has numerous health benefits. Besides, it reduces the economical cost of transportation as well. Despite such numerous benefits of using cycles, its use is not very common in Patna. We have launched this scheme on a pilot basis at the zoo to increase awareness and popularity about cycle use among residents,” said Vivek Kumar Singh, principal secretary, environment and forests department.

The first phase of enrolment under this scheme started at gate No. 2 of the zoo today and it would be held tomorrow (Sunday) morning as well. Thereafter, the enrolments would be held every Sunday morning between 6.30 and 8.30 from September to December this year.

Those willing to enrol themselves for the cycling promotion scheme can do the same by filling up the respective form at the registration counter at gate No. 2 of the zoo during the designated time.

“A person would need to furnish two recent passport size photographs along with an identity card and a document for address proof. Upon successful enrolment, the person would be issued an eco card, which s/he would need to produce at the time of parking the cycle at the cycle stand at gate No. 2. Upon showing the eco card, the person would be issued a coupon, which s/he would need to keep safely,” said S. Chandrashekhar, director, Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park.

The cycle promotion scheme has received mixed response from residents. Health experts have hailed the scheme. “This is a welcome gesture by the state environment and forest department as regular cycling can control various diseases including cardiac diseases, diabetes and hypertension. It is also highly beneficial for those suffering from knee and ankle pain, and backache,” said Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, president, the Bihar chapter of Indian Medical Association.

Several others have necessitated the need of cycle tracks for such scheme. “The roads in Patna are almost equally trafficked in the morning hours especially because of the high-speed school buses. Thus, forget riding cycle even walking on the streets at times seems risky,” said Saurbah Kumar, a frequent zoo morning walker.

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