October 21, 2007

Rallyists pedal through Lutyens’ Delhi to promote a safer, pollution-free Capital

Around 35 participants rode through Lutyens’ Delhi to promote the bicycle as an alternate zero-pollution, healthy, low-cost and sustainable mode of transportation.

Enthusiastic cyclists from the entire NCR region rallied through the 13-kilometer stretch, which included iconic Lutyen’s creations such as the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament Street and Connaught Place.

“The youngest member was 15 years old, and the oldest 57. Lawyers, research scholars, doctors and IT professionals came together to prove that cycling can make a difference,” said Rajendra Verma, project coordinator of the Delhi Cycling Club, the force behind the rally.

“Non-motorised mode of transport, from walking, cycle-rickshaws and cycles, not only reduce pollution emissions we generate but also keep us healthy,” he added.

Organising the ride wasn’t easy. There were no banner ads, pamphlets or airtime; instead, it spread around through word of mouth. “When we started the club in April this year, we decided that we would promote various things in Delhi by cycling. This time, we emailed those who had registered with us, and they in turn spread the message,” said Verma.

The ride, which lasted over two hours, was a living example that green technology isn’t something of the future, said Verma.

But the cycle of change doesn’t just stop here. The ITDP (Initiative for Transport and Development Programme) the parent organisation of the club, now plans to re-establish cycling as a viable transport. “We want the government to build cycling lanes in every major road of the city. Not only will it make roads safer for cyclists, it will also help increase speed of traffic flow as there won’t be manual vehicles slowing down automobiles,” said Verma.

The cycle may be age old, but the wheels of time seem to be in its favour, once again.

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