It has all the ingredients that a modern world is desperately trying to enforce - sustainable leaving, healthy lifestyle, personal transport and ecology. The bicycle rider stands to represent this holistic agenda and Indore saw glimpses of this humble device at its assertive best on Sunday.
With authorities also pushing aggressively to encourage use of cycles to commute to BRTS, the Sunday’s rally of bicycle enthusiasts turned out to be a revealing experience. It exposed the ignorant police force, and callous administration indulging in half-hearted measures, mostly useless and at the cost of tax-payers money.
The cycle rally was taken out from Nehru stadium to generate awareness among people and the cyclists pointed out problems faced by them on bicycle tracks and footpaths, especially on the BRTS corridor. The cyclist found cars parked on the bicycle track and they did not just complain. They called traffic police to book these car drivers.
“The traffic cops were unaware of the restriction on parking of vehicles on bicycle track and footpath and it was when we informed them they penalised the cars and a IMC water tanker,” said Pankhuri Kiran Prakash, a cyclist.
They also exposed the casual and insensitive manner in which the administration had laid down the bicycle tracks. The riders pointed out that the bicycle track and pedestrian line was missing at many places. The bicycle track was a virtual a hurdle path like a cross country road with electricity poles, sewer chambers and damaged tiles. The tiles get damaged due to bike riders, taking short cut, ride on them.
The activists said that bicycles are relevant in the present age of urbanisation when the motorised vehicles are causing pollution. Apart from pollution, the ever increasing number of motorised vehicles on roads have encroached space leaving nothing for pedestrians and cyclists.
“The rally was organised to spread awareness about benefits of bicycle as well as a campaign for the right of road and space for cyclist and pedestrians,” said Pankhuri. The cycle rally was jointly organised by Rupankan, Shakti, Urban Development Forum (UDF), Indore and Institute for Democracy and Sustainability (IDS) New Delhi.
Right to space
Prof Mahesh Gaur IIT Delhi : Every citizen has equal rights on road and thus pedestrians, cyclists, and non-motorised vehicles should get their democratic right of space on all roads of the city.
Ashok Dubey of Rupankan: There should be proper cycle and pedestrian track on all roads of the city. It is in the design of BRT and funds have been allocated for these tracks by the government.
Had a proper cycle track developed, the child killed by bus on BRT recently would have been saved.
Nirmala Devre, member, core group Cycle Yatri Samooh Indore : Cyclists are not safe on roads and due to which people avoid moving on bicycles. If there is proper bicycle track people would come out on roads paddling to reduce pollution, save fuel and improve their health.
Perin Daji social activist: It is a good initiative taken for the city and I support the cause. I wish more and more people join the campaign.