Over 300 cyclists participated in the Cycle Rally Kolkata 2015 on Sunday. The rally, organized by Cycle Samaj and SwitchON in association with KCJAARC, Yuva Bharat, Presidency Student’s Union and We are the Common People, saw the city come together to demand for a sustainable, equitable, efficient, enfironment, health and people friendly transport system with segrigation of diffeent modes of transport.
‘Sustainable Kolkata’ Travel Exhibition by Switch ON was launched at the rally, that displayed alternative sustainable and efficient transport designs for major arteries and roads on route the rally including – AJC Bose Road, APC Bose Road, Ultadana and Dhakuriya.
The proposed alternate transport systems were designed by Switch ON with guidance and support from Transport Experts from across the country including Dunu Roy of Hazard Centre, Dr. Geetam Tiwari of TRIPP IIT Delhi, Sandeep Gandhi of SG Architects, Rajendra Ravi of IDS and Shreya Gadepalli of ITDP, and based on segretaion of road based on usage. “This exhibition will travel to different schools and colleges of Kolkata, to start a dialogue with students and introduce concepts of sustainability and equity with transport. We also hopeful of Govt support to transform the transport system in Kolkata. Most contries including UK, Netherland, Denmark & US have adopted such transport designs for safe and uninterrupted traffic movements”, said Ekta Kothari Jaju of Switch ON.
The rally was flagged of by transport expert Mahesh Gaur of TRIPP, IIT Delhi.
Speaking at the occasion, Gaur said, “if we want to make our cities sustainable, we must provide equal right to access of public areas to all road users as per their proportion of the users on the roads. Our constitution provide the basic human rights of all citizens of India in this regard. This is the duty of the state to provide equal right to space to all its citizens. Every road user have its right to use the road and this is its fundamental right.” The rally traveled from Taratalla More upto Shyam Bazaar, via Gariahaat Road, and returned back via Behala and Garia, covering a distance of over 85 kms. At various points, different groups of cyclists joined in support of the cause.
“We hope that the State Government and Kolkata City authorities will take measures to promoting Cycle and other non-motorized modes of transport by completely withdrawing cycle prohibitions, introduction of cycle lanes in major streets, Cycle stands at important junctions etc. But above all we expect love and respect for the people who ride cycles in the streets”, said Raghu Jana of Cycle Samaj.