World Bicycle Day: Kolkata commuters increasingly pedal to work

Local bicycle traders in Kolkata say that sales have gone up in the days since lockdown restrictions were eased.With less than adequate modes of publi
Commuters ride their bicycles past the landmark Howrah Bridge over Hooghly River on World Bicycle Day in Kolkata, India. (AP)
Commuters ride their bicycles past the landmark Howrah Bridge over Hooghly River on World Bicycle Day in Kolkata, India.

In a bid to adjust to the new normal situation, many people in Kolkata have taken to bicycles, a cost-effective and environment friendly mode of transportation for daily commuters in this testing time of Covid-19 pandemic.

"Considering the factors of less number of public transports and their increased fare structure, it is better to depend on your own transport. Cycle is cost-effective and environment friendly. We can easily maintain social distancing guidelines if we start commuting by cycles," said Sandip Ghosh of Lake Town, an air-conditioner mechanic.

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Ghosh said there is less chance of getting infected with Covid-19 by any fellow passenger if someone commutes by this eco-friendly two-wheeler.

Pradip Sinha, a cycle trader at Bentinck Street in Kolkata, said that sales of bicycles have shot up significantly during lockdown 5.0 as people have started getting back to normal life. They are coming more and more to the stores to buy bicycles now, in order to avoid travelling by public transports.

"We need to increase the use of bicycles in our daily lives now. The coronavirus crisis has exposed a lot of things that was going on around us. It is high time to realise that and save our own planet. Commuting more and more by bicycles can be the first step towards being self-reliant, which is also the clarion call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said Malay Mukherjee, a cyclist and mountaineer who had scaled Mt. Everest in 2016.

Meanwhile, daily commuters are still finding it tough to reach their work places in Kolkata and its adjoining areas, as there aren't adequate public transports on the streets, even after three days of Unlock 1.0.

Long serpentine queues were seen since early morning on Wednesday at various bus stops near Shyambazar and Kamalgazi as people made a beeline to board government buses to reach their offices on time.

Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that buses cannot ply if passengers exceed the total seating capacity and all people on board must wear masks and gloves.

First Published Date: 03 Jun 2020, 14:39 PM IST

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