World Bicycle Day: Lack of dedicated tracks a major deterrent for cycle lovers in Amritsar

World Bicycle Day: Lack of dedicated tracks a major deterrent for cycle lovers in Amritsar

Photo: Sunil kumar

Tribune News Service

Charanjit Singh Teja

Amritsar, June 3

Cycling has emerged as people’s favourite activity in the recent years and many can be seen pedalling on roads to keep themselves fit. However, lack of dedicated cycle tracks is a major hurdle for cycling enthusiasts.

Walkers using cycling track

  • Cyclists at the Trillium Mall track are not able to use the cycling track as the elderly use it during their morning and evening walks. Walkers prefer to walk inside the cycling track for their own safety. Hence cyclists are forced to stay outside as the elderly walk inside the track.
  • Karan, a cyclist said: “The morning and evening walkers enter the track for their walks, so it is not possible to cycle inside the track. We avoid using it out of respect for the elderly.”
  • On being asked, the elderly said: “The cycling track is safe for walking. There is enough space outside the cycling track.”

There are several options to construct cycle tracks such as near the banks of UBDC canal but as of now, there is only a 2-km long track near the Trillium Shopping Mall.

Under the Smart City projects, the administration had proposed a dedicated cycle track network spanning 23.2 km across the city. It is estimated at a cost of Rs 19.22 crore. Under this, two kinds of tracks will be laid with ample width. On narrow roads, epoxy paint markings will be there on the surface to indicate cycling path. The cycling track will be set up on the Circular Road alongside the walled city, Ranjit Avenue, Islamabad area, Maqbool Road and the Mall Road. Linking of residential areas with educational institutes such as the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) and Khalsa College, public parks, Gobindgarh Fort is going to be one of the main features. It will offer easy accessibility to cyclists.

Initially, a 2.5km track at Ranjit Avenue was constructed under the Smart City pilot project. Similarly, a cycling track inside Sakatri Bagh is also under construction.

In the absence of an alternative mode of transport, people wanting to adopt cycling as a healthy and an eco-friendly option are still awaiting a dedicated cycle track in the city. Doctors and environmentalists, too, are urging people to adopt cycling to avoid traffic congestion.

"There are several tracks announced by the government in the past under the Smart City project. Some proposed tracks are under construction. Dedicated tracks should be available alongside all roads like those available in Chandigarh. Otherwise, the general public will not take to cycling on a routine. The infrastructure should be developed, so that cyclists feel safe. The city administration is only focusing on those cyclists, who have adopted it for fitness," said Dr Gurpreet Singh, a cyclist.

A cycle rally being flagged off from India Gate to Khandwala to mark World Bicycle Day in Amritsar on Friday.

Reducing pollution on their mind...

Amritsar: On the occasion of World Bicycle Day, Nehru Yuva Kendra, Amritsar, under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, in collaboration with the district administration organised a bicycle rally from India Gate to Khandwala Chowk here on Friday. More than 150 persons participated in the rally. Cycles were decorated with tri-coloured balloons and flags. The idea of reducing pollution by using cycles was promoted with the spirit of patriotism and nationalism. Harpreet Singh, SDM-II, Amritsar, was the chief guest. The programme started with the national anthem followed by a performance of a team from Northern Zone Cultural Centre. They presented a street play on the theme of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. After this, district youth officer of Nehru Yuva Kendra, Amritsar, Aakanksha, honoured the chief guest and other guests, after which the bicycle rally was flagged off. TNS

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