IMPHAL, November 8: “Introduction of renting bicycles in university campuses would help in minimizing crime rates as criminals hardly use bicycles while committing crimes”, said European Manipuri Association (EMA) representative Okram Bishwajit while sharing his European experience on using bicycles.
Bishwajit who hails from Thoubal district headquarter made the comment during a recent interaction with media persons and members of Manipur Cycle Club (MCC), a club of bicycle enthusiasts here to mitigate the challenges arising out of urbanization, environmental degradation besides health and economy issues in the state, in Imphal.
“This is not the end. It is estimated that at least 2 grams of carbon could be reduced if one person uses bicycle. So imagine if just 10 percent of India’s billion population used bicycles in the climate change era”, said researcher Bishwajit, who works in an Ireland based company. “A tiny state like Manipur can also save at least Rs 5 crores a year if we could introduce
bicycles to just 10,000 individuals of the total Manipur population of 27 lakh ( 2011 census) who usually spends Rs 50 on bus or auto-rickshaw fares a day as their mode of transport.”
Interestingly those who use bicycles regularly could also reduce their aging factors too, he added and further appealed “So let’s make Manipur as bicycle capital of the country like Netherland, the cycle capital in Europe”.
Meanwhile MCC is all set to introduce ‘Rent a Cycle’ facility as part of its cycle promotion approach in Imphal. “We’ll be introducing the facility at the Kangla Fort for the visitors. A proposal has also been submitted to declare Kangla a carbon free zone to preserve its cultural heritage and delicate vegetation inside the campus”, Deben Bachaspatimayum, MCC president.
MCC vice-president, Ramananda Wangkheirakpam elaborating on the said facility said visitors who love to see the historic site could get the facility (Rs 10 per bicycle per day) at the three Kangla gates only after the formal launching of the facility in association with environment and ecology wing of the state forest department on November 15.
“We’re also planning to expand at major bus parkings if the experiment becomes a success”, added the key functionary of MCC which had been fighting for a cycle lane and parking facilities in Imphal.
“We’re also targeting the Manipur University campus.” Having a total of 1,98,889 registered vehicles of which 1,39,675 are two wheelers last year, Manipur’s transport department officially receives 35 applications for registration on an average daily this year.
MCC in collaboration with Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association is scheduled to conduct a five-day bicycle expedition to important places including Keibul Lamjao national park in Bishnupur district in the forthcoming 10 day Manipur Sangai festival beginning from November 21.