Shillong: Taking the initiative to combat the current traffic menace experienced by the citizens of Shillong and to promote a healthy lifestyle among the city youth, the Meghalaya Basin Development Authority under the aegis of the Government of Meghalaya organised an awareness programme on cycling as a mode of urban commute in Shillong at St Edmund’s College on Thursday in the presence of Arun Kembhavi, senior Meghalaya Government official.
Speaking on the occasion, Khembhavi, who himself is a daily bicycle commuter, stated that cycling can be a viable alternative to combat the current traffic scenario in the city, adding that several small cities around the world, that are similar to Shillong in population, terrain and weather conditions, are already doing it. However, he conceded that for this idea to take off, it will require a transformation of the mindset and a coming together of various stakeholders, from public and private stakeholders to law enforcements and government. But he is hopeful that it could become a reality if enough enthusiasm exists with the people, especially the youth. From the government’s side, he added that several initiatives are planned, including the creation of cycling lanes, implementation of right of way for cyclists, provision of bicycle parking facilities in key areas and implementation of innovative low cost bicycle rentals. Several challenges and potential solutions were also deliberated with the students.