By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 11: Guwahati is no longer a cosy city for cycling – it’s not because people in the city are rich. It’s because cars and bikes make padding bicycles a tough task in the city.
However, there are people in the city who still want to paddle their ways to their destitions. In a recent development, a few cyclists of the city have urged Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal, through a petition, to ensure safe cycling paths in city roads. This, a 15-member cyclist team of Guwahati Cycle Tour (GCT) feels, can control carbon emission to the environment and encourage sustaible growth. The team has also submitted copies of the petition to PWD’s Additiol Chief Engineer in-charge, DCP (traffic), SP (traffic), Guwahati smart city chairman, GMDA chief executive officer and the GMC Commissioner.
“The excitement to continue cycling is often obstructed by growing traffic and rash driving. Cyclists being slow movers often become victims to rage of drivers who try to sneak out their way past the cyclists. In 2015, more than 190 world leaders committed to 17 sustaible development goals (SDGs). Goal 3 refers to good health, goal 11 to sustaible cities and communities and goal 13 to climate action. To merge GCT ideas with the global goals, we’ve decided to put forward our proposal of sharing the Guwahati city streets with cyclists,” GCT founding member Samrat Dev Wushu told The Sentinel.
“In recent years there has been a sharp increase in vehicles on Guwahati roads. Ninety-nine per cent of the vehicles run on fossil fuel. Recently an IIT-G findings revealed that Lachit gar itself emits 111.295 micrograms per cubic metres of 2.5 particulate matter in winter against permissible limit 10 micrograms per cubic metre of 2.5 particulate matter which is many times higher. In addition to that 50.4 per cent of deaths in Assam are caused by road accidents against tiol average of 36.4 per cent,” Wushu said.
“There is no dedicated path for bicycle commuters, which is unsafe as all motorized vehicles are parked on roadsides, normally where the cyclists ride to sneak a way through. We’ve earmarked paths for cyclists. Secondly, cyclists face hostility of vehicle drivers due to slow movement of bicycles. There is no awareness among drivers. We’ve proposed that while issuing driving license, the road safety rules should include all the sigge of cycling paths and also awareness amongst drivers for sharing roads with harmony. We’ve also suggested that that every school should encourage cycling to school and restrict parents from dropping their wards to school. This will encourage children to paddle their own canoe,” Wushu said.
“We’ve also suggested 6-7-foot-wide cycling passage on the Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev Path (GS Road), converting the divider to cycle path on Mahapurush Madhav Dev Path, and Jalukbari to Khapara, along the Brahmaputra from the Gauhati High Court to Jalukbari, Kharguli to Noonmati, along the periphery of Dighalipukhuri, Noonmati to Guwahati Club and Chandmari to Ganeshguri,” he said, added: “The roads in Amsterdam are no different from the ones in Guwahati. However, the sensitive citizens there make bicycle paddlers make their way to destitions without any hindrance.”
Meanwhile, GCT is going to paddle – freedom ride – to promote cycling on this August 15 in the city. The cycling will start from Latasil playground in the city at 6.30 am and culmite to it after paddling around the city – MG Road, Fancy Bazar, Kamakhya Foothills, Paltan Bazar, Beltola Tiniali, Six Mile, Jaya gar, Chandmari, etc. Around 200 cyclists are set to take part in the event.