Kolkata: Withdraw Bicycle and other NMTs Prohibition Orders

November 26, 2013

KOLKATA CYCLE SAMAJ

কলকাতা সাইকেল সমাজ

Block S8, Manicktala Housing Estate, Kol 700054

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To

The Commissioner of Police

Kolkata Police

18, Lalbazar Street, Kolkata – 700 001

Subject : Immediate and unconditional withdrawal of bicycle and other NMTs prohibition orders.

Sir,

With due respect we are here to communicate you a great grievance of common people of Kolkata, unfortunately meted out to them due to some orders from your Departments.

We noticed that bicycles were prohibited (9 AM to 7 PM) from 38 streets in Kolkata in 2008 through an order by the then CP of Kolkata Police.

We also noticed that the banning of cycles had been extended in June 2013, to all kinds of non-motorized transports (NMT) and covering 174 streets with some of them having 24 hours ban.

As you know, Kolkata is a city where ordinary people rely on bicycles and it is the only Metro city where number of cycle rides overwhelms number of car rides, according to the Ministry of Urban Developement.

You are surely aware of and appreciative about the fact that bicycles and other forms of NMTs are environment friendly and offer no air pollution which is in total contrast with the case of motorized transports, thus are friends in the fight to curb pollution in Kolkata air.

You also know that bicycles and other forms of NMTs have been aggressively promoted in National Transport Policy (2008).

You are surely aware of that most of the essential services in Kolkata, including 1) Dairy 2) Newspaper supply 3) Medicine supply 4) Courier services 5) Food delivery 6) Backery etc depend heavily on bicycles and NMTs.

You also know that the average speed of vehicles in most of the kolkata streets doesn’t exceed 20 km/hr compared to what bicycles and NMTs can not be dubbed as slow-moving vehicles.

You also know that the order of bicycle ban is being implemented in streets in a thoroughly coercive and perhapse illegal manner, through confiscating bicycles, taking money (Rs. 100-150) and providing a vague stamped paper in return.

You may also be appreciative of the fact that blocking a particular carriage / vehicle from plying on the city streets, without even showing it any alternative and amicable way to reach the destination, is in complete contrast with the spirit of justice.

We, therefore, urging you to withdraw the orders and lift the ban on bicycles and other forms of non-motorized transports IMMEDIATELY and UNCONDITIONALLY.

We respect your concern about the congestion in Kolkata streets and we are in opinion that a comprehensive committee set up by the State Government and constituting experts (health, environment, urban planning etc), stakeholders (cycle and NMT union representatives etc.), and traffic departments can address it, after the removal of the prohibitionary orders.

Your’s Sincerely

(Raghu Jana) (Shamik Sarkar)