Mumbai: Cyclists Launch Safety Campaign After Permission Denied For Gathering Near Mantralaya

Mumbai: Cyclists Launch Safety Campaign After Permission Denied For Gathering Near Mantralaya

They have also decided to start a campaign to make driving conditions safer on the city's roads.

Manoj RamakrishnanUpdated: Friday, March 15, 2024, 10:30 PM IST
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Representational Image | FPJ Photo

After being denied permission to gather near Mantralaya on Friday evening, Mumbai’s cyclists said they would meet government policymakers to discuss infrastructure and safety issues on the city's roads. They have also decided to start a campaign to make driving conditions safer on the city's roads.

Mumbai’s large cyclist community

Mumbai’s large cyclist community, which includes thousands of leisure bikers and also many who have chosen to commute to work using non-motorised transport, had asked permission to meet government authorities after the death of a member, Avtar Saini, who was struck by a car on Palm Beach Road, Navi Mumbai, on the morning of February 28.

Chetan Shah, president of the Mumbai Cycling Enthusiasts, a large community of bikers, said that the purpose behind the meeting in Mantralaya was to meet government authorities and policymakers to discuss ways to make roads safe for all users. 

"The idea was to meet the right people, so we are in the process of scheduling meetings with stakeholders. As the police did not permit us to gather at Mantralaya we are trying to get appointments with policymakers," said Shah.

Campaign to sensitise motorists

Meanwhile, the community has started a campaign to sensitise motorists about cyclists and fellow road users. "In the eyes of many motorists cyclists are an obstruction on the road. They do not want Cyclists on the roads," added Shah. 

The Mumbai Cycling Enthusiasts has created a 70-second film titled 'Remember' in Saini's memory as part of the campaign to make roads safer. The film, the group said, is a call to action — a plea for empathy, compassion, and shared responsibility on roads. The film will be released in English and shortly in Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati. Tamil and other Indian languages.

Cyclist groups are distributing thousands of car stickers to motorists to spread the message of sensitivity towards other road users. Cyclists have also been asked to leave their feedback regarding roads, safety, and infrastructure, on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) website. The idea is to get statistics on record that can be accessed using applications filed under the Right to Information law.

Cyclists said that while Mumbai lacks cycling infrastructure, the left-most lanes on wider roads used by cyclists are patchy, paved with uneven tiles, and full of potholes, forcing them to share the right-side lanes with motorised vehicles. 

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