Foot to pedal, some of Delhi’s top bureaucrats had an unusual and early, though planned, start to Thursday, cycling alongside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to mark the capital’s first car-free day.
Stopped by the media for a quick comment, Kejriwal said it had been long since he cycled. “Cycling is good for diabetics like me. This keeps one fit and healthy and does contribute to keeping the air pure and safe. We should cycle more often and people should adopt cycling,” said the CM as he kicked off the cycle rally.
The CM, however, admitted Delhi roads were not safe for cyclists yet. “We need to have cycle lanes. The PWD is redesigning 10 stretches and all have dedicated cycle lanes. He said the car-free day event, organised by transport department, was symbolic and accepted it would take time for the event to become a success.
“First we need to improve our public transport. Since the Metro (started), many people have left their cars. But we need to strengthen bus service. If people have to wait for hours at bus stops, they will not use public transport. The comfort of bus is still not there. We have asked the Metro to expand coaches to eight.
Women’s safety is an issue in public transport and we all have to work towards it,” added the CM. So, will the CM cycle in every car-free day event? “You will see me cycling sometimes, not every time,” he said.
Among the bureaucrats on cycles were chief secretary K K Sharma and Parimal Rai, home secretary and transport principal secretary. “I have cycled almost after 10 years. It was fun,” said Rai.