New Delhi, June 3: The India Cycles4Change challenge is beginning to gain momentum in Indian cities. The challenge was launched last year under the Smart Cities Mission by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on 25th June, 2020, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that was gaining ground in the country. Over the last year, a cycling revolution has taken over India, with cycling being seen as an important mode of safe and healthy personal transport medium that ensures social distancing, while being environmentally sustainable.
As the COVID-19 pandemic was making inroads across the country, cycling saw a huge rise in demand. The lockdown restrictions had significantly affected the commuters of public transport, who saw cycling as a personal and COVID-safe alternative for short and medium distance commute. Moreover, cycling was also seen as a means of staying healthy- physically and mentally by the people who were confined to their homes.
In this backdrop, with the launch of India Cycle4Change challenge, 107 cities registered to be a part of the cycling revolution and 41 cities undertook initiatives vis. surveys, discussions, pop-up cycle lanes, safer neighbourhoods, open street events, cycle rallies, or online campaigns that were aimed at creating a cycle friendly city. Cities as part of the campaign have initiated work covering approx. 400 kms of arterial roads and more than 3500 kms of neighbourhood streets. The Smart Cities Mission, in association with Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP) conducted training modules and other capacity building initiatives to guide 107 cities on various cycling initiatives.