Unable to find a way to enforce the ban on use of motorbikes in the campus area, the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has turned to innovativeness (and European Universities) to tactfully deal with the rising cases of accidents and “bike-borne assailants” indulging in criminal activities.
Through Hero Cycles Limited’s “AMU Cycle Mart” store that has come up inside the campus — which offers students, staff and non-teaching staff bicycles at concessional rates — the university hopes the use of motorbike as the mode of transport will automatically faze out, giving way to the use of bicycles, “favoured and prevalent in Western Universities”.
“Cycles being eco-friendly are also good for health. Mostly in western universities, it is the favourite mode of transport. We will usher in the same environment in AMU,” said Vice-Chancellor Lt Gen (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah.
Efforts of Prof F S Sheerani, Director, AMU Cultural Education Centre, proved instrumental in facilitating the set up of the store as Hero Cycles Limited was allotted the space for the store free of cost, along with free power supply.
In return, the bicycle firm will offer a discount of 20-25 per cent to all the members of the university.
“The bicycles are available at a starting price of Rs 1800 after concession. We hope students will prefer bicycles while commuting on campus,” Prof Sheerani said.
And the vice-chancellor is leading the ride by setting an example. Shah travels around the campus on a bicycle, joined by a few of his colleagues, unmoved and unfazed by the “cold shoulder response” from others, or even when he gets hit by a car.
Although the “accident” was seen as a security threat to the V-C, he has decided to stick to the now-in-motion ”Pedal Green AMU” project.