Fuel crisis induced high demand for bicycles in Pokhara

Pokhara, October 28

As petroleum crisis deepens, the demand for bicycles has shot up in Pokhara.

Bicycle shop owners said they have run out of stock as the demand for bicycles has shot up owing to crisis of petroleum products.

According to traders, they sell around 12,000 bicycles in Pokhara and adjoining areas every year. The demand for mountain bike has risen from 150 to 1,500 per day in Pokhara recently due to the blockade imposed by agitating Madhesi parties at border checkpoints.

Ashok Chalise, owner of Chalise Bicycle Shop, said the demand for bicycle has shot up over the past two months. “We have not been able to meet the demand, as we have not been able to import bicycles from India,” said Chalise.

“Though health conscious people had been using bicycles to maintain good health, it has now become the most reliable means of transport due to the petroleum crisis,” said Prakash Bajracharya, owner of Bicycle Land, Pokhara.

Bicycles made in India, China and Taiwan are sold in Pokhara. Bicycles imported from China and Taiwan are brought into the country via Kolkata dry port.

According to elderly citizens of the lake city, the locals started riding bicycles after blacktopped roads were built in the late 60s. There are 18 bicycle shops in Pokhara and 80 bicycle repair shops in Pokhara. All the shops are seen crowded with customers these days.