ON THE first Cycle Wednesday, only 35 bicycles were found parked on the premises of the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, evidence that a majority of the 7,000 MC employees used other means to reach their Sector 17 office.
Most walked to office after being dropped by their family members at nearby points. Some parked their two-wheelers at a distance at the paid parking lots and came walking while others used public transport to reach their workplace.
Earlier, this week, MC Commissioner Jitender Yadav had made it mandatory for employees to cycle to work on Wednesdays. He had also said that employees staying at far-off places could use public transport.
A woman employee, on condition of anonymity, said, “My brother-in-law dropped me and he is the one who would come to pick me up. I can’t ride a cycle and public transport is also not feasible for me.”
The commissioner reached office on a cycle around 9.15 am. When asked about employees using modes other than cycle to come to office on the first day of his experiment, he said, “We don’t want to punish anybody. We just wish to inculcate a habit. At least the family members are getting troubled. At one point of time, the family will buy a bicycle and give it to the employee asking him or her to go on his own.”
Many came from home on two-wheelers but parked it at paid parking lots across the Corporation and walked to office. “My house is in Sector 48. Not only does it take a lot of time on a cycle, it is not safe as well amid heavy traffic. That was the reason I had to get my motorcycle,” said an employee while parking his vehicle at a distance. He then quietly walked to the office and entered from the back gate.
Joginder Walia, women superintendent, said she came walking from Sector 23 as she did not know how to ride a cycle. “It took me 20 minutes to reach office. When I don’t know how to ride a bicycle, what can I do,” she said. Only three women came to work on cycle. Heads of departments, however, made sure that they pedalled their way to work. Superintending Engineer N P Sharma came from Sector 19 on cycle. Accounts officer Surinder Sharma said he had to borrow his son’s cycle for this day.
Chief Engineer Manoj Bansal, who came from Sector 4, Panchkula, started for work at 8.15 am and reached after one hour. He said he was quite scared. “The vehicles move at high speed and because the tracks merge towards the roundabouts, it becomes all the more difficult,” added Bansal.
The Commissioner said he would order all those coming on cycle to buy helmet as well. Yadav directed that even if anybody needs to go to the UT secretariat or any other office, he would have to use a cycle. “Only emergency vehicles like fire tenders will use vehicles on Wednesday,” he added.