For cleaner, greener & livable city: Citizens join cyclothon braving inclement weather

Bhubaneswar : Braving the inclement weather conditions cycle enthusiasts participated in a cyclothon today from KIIT Square to the top of the Sikharchandi Hills. The cyclothon was organized by Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) to promote non-motorised transport (NMT) so that the city would become clean and green.

The usual focus on the Sishu Bhawan Ekamra Plaza zone has shifted to the Patia area to include all zones of the city and in future other regions will also be included under the cyclothon activities. Today’s event was organized in association with Pantaloons and Malva. A historic and biodiversity hotspot in Bhubaneswar, Sikharchandi Hills is a major attraction for many to visit.

With more than 70 people participating in the event, the idea was a clear attempt to make the netizens aware on the environmental pollution as the National Capital Region (NCR) is facing the worth pollution ever and three of India’s cities are lining up in the list of 10 most polluted cities of the world. With the air quality index (AQI) in many cities in India reporting scores on the higher side, the State Capital is doing all its best to promote NMT and especially, cycling among the citizens.

In order to make the Temple City a livable place and environment-friendly, the Bhubaneswar Smart City has adopted a series of initiatives and several cycle tracks are being developed under the NMT Priority Network. Also, the awareness drives under the Cycles4Change Challenge the city is organizing a series of activities to promote cycling.

Under the directive of Managing Director and CEO Bhubaneswar Smart City Sanjay Kumar Singh, the BSCL had taken up the cycling promoting activities to make the city green and clean. The city is also planning to have exclusive public transport zones where people could access only public transport as the city is all set to make NMT philosophy as its mainstay for the urban transport. In the past also the Temple City has organized NMT-based events like Rahagiri and Patha Utsav in a big way.

The Smart City has also expeditated the proves to have seven electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at major locations of Bhubaneswear so that the environment of the city remains sustainable for the future. More EV charging stations would also come in future.

Manoj Kumar Sundaray, a tax consultant, advocate and green enthusiast came with a double decked cycle, he has prepared along with his friends to join the cyclothon and his bike became the centre of attraction for all. The Dumduma-based advocate has fitted his customized cycle with a sound system and decorated it with beautiful flowers..
“After taking part in the Covaxin trial as a volunteer, me and my friends have created this double-decker cycle. As cycling promotes a green cause and NMT I proudly ride my cycle and also spread the awareness on cycling,’’ Sundaray added.

Ashok Sahu, a businessman from Jaydev Vihar, who joined the cyclothon today along with his friends is very happy as he could contribute his time and efforts for a cause. “Every citizens should be aware that unless we give priority to NMT cause out cities would choke one day. At least one day in a week should be observed as an NMT day and people should keep their private vehicles and use public transport. Also for this to happen we need to have a robust public transport network,’’ he observed.

Another participant of today’s cyclothon Krushna Chandra Altia, a student in Biju Patnaik College, said “the promotion of clycling is also beneficial in a personal way as it helps in better physique, shape and also immunity. At a time when the COVID pandemic has threatened the entire world order, this low-cost environment friendly alternative can help us in a greater way.’’