Govt gives the bicycle a boost

Kathmandu, August 12:

Approves KMC plans to build cycle tracks along Ring Road.

The government and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) will construct cycle tracks on either side of the Ring Road in the current fiscal year. “The government has approved the KMC’s plan to construct a 44 km cycle track on either side of the Ring Road,” said Surya Prasad Silwal, chief executive officers of the KMC. Silwal today signed the Velo Mondial Charter and ‘Action Plan for Bicycle Friendly Communities’ on behalf of KMC. Peter Kennedy signed on behalf of Velo Mondial. Velo Mondial is a global organisation which supports the use by governments of the bicycle. Speaking at the programme, Silwal said: “By signing the charter, the KMC has expressed its willingness to encourage cyclists in the city.” He added that in Nepal, the bicycle is widely used as a means of transportation due to its simplicity and ease.

Though Kathmandu has less number of bicycles, considering the narrow alleys of Kathmandu, the bicycle is an appropriate means of transportation here, he said. “The KMC takes the responsibility for solid waste management; if it can control air pollution, it would be a great achievement as well. Encouragement to use bicycles would help to achieve this goal,” Silwal said. Peter Kennedy said: “The use of bicycles will help reduce air and noise pollution and also lessen traffic congestion and accidents.” The Charter signed today recognises a policy initiative that addresses the challenges and contributes to many of the solutions necessary to improve the quality of life in cities. It recognises the need for improvement in the quality of environment and health, reduce congestion and save lives. The KMC will be represented in the Velo Mondial conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on March 2006, the action plan has said. Peter Kennedy left Paris on the June 6, 2004, to undertake a worldwide bicycle trip to promote the use of the bicycle. He has visited 34 municipalities by bicycle and reached Nepal on July 21 and Kathmandu on August 7.