Agartala city, capital of Tripura, may see a huge rise in the number of bicycle riders shortly as the administration is likely to prioritize bicycle use in the city, in fact, in the West Tripura district as a whole.
Agartala Muncipal Corporatiom Commissioner Dr Sailesh Yadav in a letter to District Magistrate West Tripura district Dr. Sandeep Mahatme proposed to prioritize use of bicycle. In his letter, Yadav underscored the matter of prioritizing movement of people on by-cycle during and after emergencies like COVID 19.
The development came in the wake of a proposal forwarded by cycling enthusiast Gopesh Debnath addressing AMC authorities to make arrangement of cycling in the city in a bid to ensure no-violation of social distancing norms. Gopesh in his letter urged the Agartala Municipal Corporation authorities to prioritize bicycles as a means of transport in the city to minimize direct physical contact.
Speaking to Inside NE Gopesh said, “Cites across the world were enabling bicycling troubled times including Italy and Spain despite such high fatalities. New York City saw a spike of 52 percent in bicycle plying in the bridges after social distancing protocols were put on place. Mexico City had started rolling out emergency cycle ways to encourage bicycle use during the Corona virus epidemic with some of them planning to increase the permanent cycling network”. He also added that in some of the countries use of bicycle stores had been ordered to remain open during the lockdown period considering it under essential services.
Justifying his point, Debnath Said, “The bicycle has a limited range of operation and can be useful in spread of COVID 19. Being an individual operated transporter, it decreases the chance of social distancing violation. It also has a positive impact on the health and pollution”.
West Tripura District Magistrate Sandeep Mahatma while reacting on the issue said, “We have received a proposal and shall surely take initiatives if it is found worthy of”.
It is also worthy to be mentioned here that in the third phase of lockdown some relaxations are granted for the public transport in the city. Though, there is a curfew imposed after 7 pm to 5 am next morning, in office hours the city wears a jam-packed look. If bicycle is prioritized through an administrative letter than it will, at least to an extent, reduce the number of vehicles in office hours.
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