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Cycle enthusiasts campaign for eco-friendly transport at Kolkata book fair

Around 100 cycle enthusiasts took part in the campaign

PTI | Published 03.03.22, 03:05 PM
Representational image

Representational image

A group of cycle enthusiasts on Wednesday pedalled for some time along a dedicated track on the lawns of the 45th International Kolkata Book Fair at Salt Lake Central Park for spreading awareness on the eco-friendly mode of transport and also road safety.

Cycle groups across the city chipped in with their support for the initiative. The primary objective of the event was to spread awareness on road safety and sensitise cyclists and pedestrians regarding traffic rules which should be followed.

A spokesperson of SwitchON Foundation, the prime mover of the initiative, said flouting traffic rules has become one of the primary reasons for the Kolkata police to impose restrictions on cycling across the city.

Around 100 cycle enthusiasts took part in the campaign at the book fair, the spokesperson said.

While there is a notion that bicycles pose a safety hazard on roads and slow down traffic, members of cycle groups pointed out that generation of awareness is necessary to dispel the belief.

If cyclists stick to their designated space, it will not slow down the movement of traffic, they said.

Referring to the eco-friendly nature of cycling as a mode of transport, the SwitchON Foundation quoted the findings of a study conducted by it in 2013 and 2020. The study revealed that private motor vehicles had doubled in the city leading to an increase in pollution and congestion.

Speaking on the occasion, a cycling enthusiast of Kolkata said, “Currently pedestrians and cyclists do not feel themselves to be a part of the city system, though they play a very important role in delivering milk and newspapers. They need to be sensitised about following traffic rules for their safety and that of others.”

Worldwide, various cities have initiated efforts to embrace a 'new normal' for transport systems in the post lockdown period, focusing on including more pedestrian and non-motorized- transportation (NMT) facilities in their overall transportation systems.

There have been reform measures facilitating cycle movement in the New Town satellite township near Kolkata and the rest of the city is keen on following suit, they said.

Vinay Jaju, Cofounder SwitchON Foundation said, “The Kolkata police has been receptive to our concerns over the cycle restriction order. Their potential cooperation and the possibility of completely removing the restriction on cycling has therefore made us even more excited to be able to start the road safety awareness campaign in full swing at the Kolkata book fair.

Last updated on 03.03.22, 03:09 PM

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