GUWAHATI, Aug 22 - An online petition aimed at popularising cycling and urging the State government to make some interventions towards that end, has gained much support, eliciting positive response from the citizens and securing their signatures.
The petition, addressed to Guwahati Development Department Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya, seeks some short-term steps and preparation for a long-term vision to make Guwahati a cycling-friendly city.
�Cycling gives people an equitable, clean and inexpensive option to travel to their work by maintaining social distance and develop their immunity. At the same time, they do not contribute to pollution and congestion on our city streets. Cities also become safer as lesser accidents take place. Keeping this in view, an online petition has been started to get support and signatures of people from all over Guwahati. Similar petitions have been started in about ten cities across India,� Arshel Akhter, Bicycle Mayor of Guwahati who started the petition with the support of Pedal for a Change and The Green lane Foundation, told The Assam Tribune.
The petition stresses the need for cities to promote sustainable and active modes of transport like cycling and walking (also called non-motorised transport). The petition not just seeks cycling lanes in some parts of the city but also calls for preparing a long-term comprehensive plan that encompasses governance and policy measures, planning, design and implementation measures and also allocation of finances for such facilities.
These measures when implemented, will go a long way in making Guwahati the most cycling-friendly city in India, it says.
Similar petitions have been started in ten cities across the country.
�Guwahati, along with the rest of the world, has seen a tremendous growth of cycling enthusiasts in the last couple of months during the Covid-19 pandemic. Bicycle shops around the city as well as all over the State have reported huge increase in sales. Many people have started cycling as a way to keep fit or to explore nearby areas. Many people who had not cycled in a while took out their old cycles and started cycling again. Many small cycling groups have sprung up all over the city. It is expected that many of these people will keep cycling even after the pandemic is over,� Akhter said.
Interested people can click on the link https://act.airalert.in/petitions/let-s-make-guwahati-the-most-cycling-friendly-city-in-india to read the demands and support the petition.