This is the first time in India that a city has drafted a cycling policy. The Chandigarh Smart City Limited has drafted a policy that views cycling as a major alternate mode of transport for short distances.
Cycling Policy – a ‘Powerful Tool’ For The Government
The cycling policy is seen as a powerful tool for the government to encourage cycling in the city. NP Sharma, Chief General Manager of CSCL said, “The city has the highest per capita ownership of motorized vehicles in the country, which is creating severe parking and environmental issues. The promotion of cycling as a means of traveling is one of the policy tools that can contribute to sustainable urban travel. Cycling is nowadays attracting international attention as the bicycle does not pollute or create noise and it has potential to be an alternative to cars for short-distance travel in urban areas”.
Special Incentives for Employees Who Adopt Cycling
To encourage commuting to work by cycle, each of the government offices must have a separate policy. The draft states, “Employees who adopt cycling will get special incentives like half-a-day earned leave credited for every seven days cycled, or half-a-day casual leave granted every week”. For every cycle user in every department, the draft policy advocates commendation certificates, awards, and other recognitions.
TPT Policy Advocacy & Recommendations
- Cycling is an environment-friendly activity as it is free of pollution and noise. It is also cost-effective and energy-efficient too. So, this cycling policy is an excellent step taken by Chandigarh to create a pollution-free environment.
- Parking facilities for cycling can be developed at a lower cost as the bicycle requires low space. And the draft policy mentions enhancing the safety of women and persons with disabilities, so this policy will benefit everyone in other parts of the country if they replicate the same.