New Delhi [India], November 30 (ANI/India PR Distribution): An international webinar was organised by the World Cycling Alliance in association with SmartBike Mobility on 28 November, 2020.
Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu, addressed the importance of promoting cycling towards building a sustainable future in his keynote address.
The webinar centred on promoting cycling in a post-covid world which featured Christophe Najdovski, Deputy Mayor, Paris & President, European Cyclists Federation (ECF) along with World Cycling Alliance President Raluca Fiser from Europe and Vice President & Treasurer D V Manohar from India, Vice Presidents Christian Haag representing Australia, Ze Lobo representing South America and Amanda Ngabirano representing Africa.
The Vice-President of India called on urban planners and policymakers to plan towards creating dedicated cycling tracks to reduce the use of motorized transports for short journeys and help decongest cities as well as reduce pollution. "There is a huge potential for promoting cycling in India and I am glad the Government of India is trying to remove the barriers to encourage cycling culture in cities across India."
He appealed to citizens to not view motorised vehicles as status symbols owing to the pollution they cause. "Cycling should become a passion," added the Vice-President of India. He added, "Cities should plan city-wide bicycle sharing schemes, implement public bike sharing systems near transport systems, bus-stops and other public spaces. Create a mechanism for carbon credit system to benefit cyclists and promote e-bicycles."
Both Christophe Najdovski & Raluca Fiser said that investing in Cycling is investing in future. They shared what is happening in this respect around the world.
"As cycling emerged as the safest commuting means in post Covid world, there is imperative need to promote cycling" said D V Manohar. Despite the damage caused by COVID across the world, air quality improved considerably in most cities during lockdown period as usage of fossil fuel vehicles is lesser. 4 out of the top 10 countries with nearly 65 per cent of population as cyclists are also amongst the world's happiest and healthiest countries. He shared his own experience of controlling diabetes through active cycling. During his late fifties, he cycled 520 kms distance of London to Paris twice.
The webinar concluded with an experience sharing session featuring Dharmendra, Chairman, New Delhi Municipal Council, Kunal Kumar, Mission Director, Smart Cities Mission, Kamal Kishor Yadav, CEO, Chandigarh Smart City, Dharmin Dontamsetti, CoFounder & MD SmartBike Mobility and Dr KB Thakur, Secretary General, All India Cycle Manufacturers Association.
Dharmendra, Chairman, NDMC, narrated how in New Delhi cycling is encouraged through state of art Public Bike Sharing System in PPP mode.
Under the Smart Cities Mission, the government is focused on building sustainable urban mobility. "You would be hearing about some really good things happening in the field of sustainable transport, especially cycling and walking, and not motorised transport, in the days to come," revealed Kunal Kumar, Mission Director Smart Cities Mission.
Chandigarh boasts of over 200km of dedicated cycling tracks and is committed to helping cycling become the commute of choice. "Over the next 9 months, Chandigarh will have 600 docking stations and 5000 bikes (including e-bikes) for public bike-sharing," added Kamal Kishor Yadav.
Public bike sharing services are essential to help cities across the world drive their citizens to adopt cycling not just for recreation, but also for commute. "SmartBike's mission is to provide a bicycle to all by bringing in to India a world-class public bike sharing system. We are now present in 4 cities in India and we are introducing the SmartBike Electric next month," said Dharmin Dontamsetti, co-founder & MD of India's largest public bike sharing company.
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