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Posted at: Jan 13, 2019, 7:56 AM; last updated: Jan 13, 2019, 7:56 AM (IST)

A cycle hub, city sans cycling infra

A cycle hub, city sans cycling infra
Commuting by cycle can have several benefits. File photo

Gurvinder Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has come up with a study that cycling to work can have several benefits to the economy worth Rs 1.8 trillion, which actually is 1.6 per cent of the GDP of the country. The study lists several direct and indirect benefits, including saving fuel, improved health, lesser traffic congestion and better environment with low pollution levels, overall leading to benefits up to Rs 1.8 trillion.

While the report points out these benefits of cycling, none has percolated down to the cycle-manufacturing hub, Ludhiana city, as cycling culture and related infrastructure have been completely missing here.

“While several of the so-called elite of Ludhiana feel ashamed of using a standard bicycle, as they love to flaunt their luxury cars, some would like to take out their high-end bikes only in mornings. For those who want to use bicycles for commuting purpose are not able to do so because of the lack of cycle tracks in the city. No efforts have been made by the municipal body or the government to build such tracks,” says Raman, a resident of the city.

“I started riding a cycle to work, but because of a lack of cycle tracks, there is always safety concern. It is ironical that despite being a cycle-manufacturing hub, the city could not be developed into a cycle-friendly city by any government,” says Arshdeep, a resident.

Even industrial and cycle associations have not been able to lobby for making the city a cyclist-friendly city over the years. “We ask successive governments to built cycle tracks along new roads as also the existing ones,” says Inderjit Singh Navyug, president of UCPMA. “In fact, we have also demanded that one day of the week be declared a cycle-only week to promote the use of bicycles,” he said.

Cycling to work undoubtedly can make a huge difference, says Ravneet Singh, South Asia Manager, EcoSikh. However, not just infrastructure but inculcating a sense of driving and strict implementation of law for safety of cyclists is also a must for making the city cycle friendly, he said.

“There is also a need for developing a culture among people, to use bicycles, says Davinder Singh Nagi, an avid  yclist and teacher.  


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