Raahgiri a success, but people wary of cycling in city traffic
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GURGAON: Even though MCG chief Praveen Kumar announced that cycle tracks will be laid in the city, people are anxious. Chitra, who used to ride around her hometown in Uttaranchal before she came to Gurgaon a year ago, said, “Talks for cycle tracks on roads have been going on for long. However, no concrete action has been taken to initiate the process. It clearly shows a lack of intent.” A resident of Palam Vihar, Chitra has participated in the cycling rally at Raahgiri.
Others who participate enthusiastically in cycling rallies at Raahgiri too do not seem to be excited about the cycling track, as they feel that safety is going to be a major concern. Harish, a resident of Nirvana Country, is apprehensive about letting his daughter to cycle on the road. “My daughter loves to ride a bicycle. She has been a regular at Raahgiri Day. But I will never let her ride on the roads. There is a huge difference between the Raahgiri loop and a normal stretch,” he said.
The massive turnout at Raahgiri has made people hit the pedal, but whether they will use cycle tracks for daily commuting is yet to be seen. Amit from EMBARQ, one of the organizers of the event, said, “When we started Raahgiri Day, many people were apprehensive about the idea. Now that Raahgiri has cleared all apprehensions, it must work %towards building cycling tracks and ensuring people use it properly. But it can’t be done only by one agency. MCG, HUDA, police, and the citizens – all have %to come together to make this a success.”
Citing the need to learn from the similar projects in Bangalore and Pune, which were a failure, he said, “The project was a failure in Bangalore because cycling tracks were not segregated and the project was not implemented properly.”
Like other cities in India, Gurgaon does not respect non-motorized transport on roads. Enforcement is, therefore, the key. “We have to come up with a strategic model. We should look %at taking up the project work on some stretches and seeing how it is working out. For its enforcement, support from traffic police is imperative,” said Parveen %Kumar.
Police commissioner Alok Mittal assured, “We will deploy traffic cops to enforce lane discipline. Let’s make a beginning. Let MCG mark one lane for cyclists on certain stretches.”