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Ban on Bicycles in East Indian City of Kolkata Draws People’s Ire

Thousands of Indians have launched a protested in Kolkata, against the West Bengal state government’s move to ban cycles and non-motorised transport in the metropolis. Angry cyclists gathered on the Chowringhee Square with placards reading “We want cycles back!” and “Turn off your engine. Kids breathe here!”

cyclist protestPic: downtoearth

According to protestors, banning bicycles in the city “is a crazy decision”. The government move is said to have affected the livelihood of many people, including rickshaw-pullers, milkmen and newspaper vendors.

All these people have gathered to protest the ban. They also suggest that the city will stop functioning with the ban on cycles and non-motorised transport, as many necessity items such as milk, newspapers, medicines, courier and postage are delivered on bicycles.

City authorities banned cyclists and hand-pulled rickshaws from 174 roads and streets in order to reduce traffic jams in city.

Madan Mitra, Transport Minister, has been quoted as saying that the traffic speeds in the city is down to 8-11 miles per hour compared to the average speed of 13 mph in Indian cities.

Adding that the decision to ban bicycles had to be taken so as to reduce traffic bottlenecks in the city and to increase the speed of vehicles, he said, bikes can be used in the lanes and bylanes of the city.

Do you support the ban? Or are you with the people who have gathered to protest the decision? Tell us your views.

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