A new study on air pollution in Delhi by a team of researchers led by the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom has found the city suffers from a “toxic blend of geography, growth, poor energy sources and unfavourable weather that boosts its dangerously high levels of air pollution”. The study also recommends all-round solutions instead of just focusing on vehicular pollution. Delhi’s landscape, weather, energy consumption culture, and growing urban population combines to elevate concentrations of air pollutants, including ultra-fine particles, the most harmful to human health. With population and traffic becoming unmanageable in Delhi, the time is ripe to promote the bicycle as a mode of transport. It is easy on the environment and also works wonders for people's health.
It's a desirable and practicable goal that cities like Copenhagen have achieved. From an industrialized city in the 1970s to the "Bike City of the World", Denmark's capital has come a long way. Much like India now, Denmark was faced with a rapidly expanding population clamouring for infrastructure. Way back in 1998, experts from IIT-Delhi led by Geetam Tiwari had even made a "bicycle master plan" for Delhi. The suggestions were not implemented. Experts say just creating cycle tracks is not enough. In some countries, governments use tax exemptions to promote cycling. Schemes to make commuters switch to cycling for all trips shorter than 5km need to be implemented. According to a recent Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) report, Delhi tops in road accidents deaths in the country and is most unsafe for cyclists. On an average two cyclists die every week on Delhi roads. Cycles can be an effective feeder system for the Delhi Metro, BRT and even buses. More than cycling tracks, we need a campaign to promote cycling. It is the fear of being hit by rash motorists that prevents people from using cycles
1. Keep the Doctor Away: It is good for your health
The moderate or rigorous exercise you get from bicycling (depending on how and where you bike) can go a long way in helping you on that. It’s definitely an easy, fun, and cheap way to improve your health and feel better. Cycling is associated with improved cardiovascular fitness, as well as a decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease. Riding a bike is great for toning and building your muscles, especially in the lower half of the body – your calves, your thighs, and your rear end.
2. Leave More Green
To slow down the development of automotive infrastructure, it's necessary to reduce the number of automobiles that infrastructure is trying to serve. If enough people were to trade in daily car use for daily bicycling, they'd make a substantial dent in the traffic and Delhi has more green space.
3. Save the money and Petrol/Diesel
On average around the world, you're three times more likely to die from air pollution than in an auto accident; and almost half of the pollution in our air comes from automobiles. Use of bye cycle save the money of your fuel and doctor cost.
4. Protect the climate and environment
Transportation is one of the leading causes of global warming. Bicycles emit nothing. According to experts, if just 1 percent of the driving population switched to bikes, it would translate to a 2 to 4 percent reduction in mobile emissions.
5. Solution of traffic problem
One of the most common and irritating problems that one faces in the national Capital of our country is getting caught in traffic jams. Substantial increase in the number of vehicles on Delhi roads in recent years. In fact, studies have shown more than a lakh vehicles are plying almost every day on most of the important corridors in Delhi. While bikers ride in traffic well and increase in no of users of bicycles decrease the no of users of cars.
Source: indianexpress.com, timesofindia.indiatimes.com, environment.ucf.edu, howstuffworks