The Bihar government will launch its ambitious bicycle campaign in the state capital on Monday at the crack of the dawn to cut down pollution in the city of 20 lakh people.
The ‘cycle chalao, paryawaran bachao’ (Ride bicycle, save environment) campaign conceptualised by the state Environment and Forest Department (EFD) also seeks to ease the pressure of vehicles on the roads of Patna, as well as promote fitness among the people.
“We have been trying to launch this campaign since long. Bicycle is a symbol of environment- friendliness. It is so popular in European countries like France and Holland. A majority of people use it to travel shorter distances, save fuel, cut down on pollution and stay fit,” EFD Minister Prashant Kumar Shahi told PTI.
The Minister said in the first phase, the campaign will be limited to Patna and will continue from September 1 to December 31. It will be extended if public response is good. There are also plans to launch it across the state in future.
In their bid to publicise the campaign, the EFD officials have listed out benefits of cycling, which include fat and stress reduction, cardiovascular fitness and monetary saving.
Awards like caps, t-shirts, tracksuits and bicycles will also be given to those who participate in the campaign after registering themselves at the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park in the state capital.
Shahi, however, said though the campaign will be highly beneficial for the environment and the people, he was concerned about the safety of bicyclists on the roads of Patna as the high volume of traffic doesn’t leave ample space for cyclists and rash driving endangers them.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.