Nepali Times Asian Paints
Cycle city

There is an amazingly simple solution to curbing air pollution in the Kathmandu Valley (and your weight). Ditch your motorbike and get on a bicycle. And if you think the precarious road conditions of Kathmandu won't let you, there is some good news in the offing. An enthusiastic group of youths have devoted themselves to turning the capital into a cycle-friendly city by 2020.

An ambitious goal, but the small yet swiftly increasing breed of cyclists in the city can at least look forward to breathing easier. Started a year ago by students of Kathmandu University, Rajan Kathet and Shail Shrestha, the Kathmandu Cycle City 2020 campaign is moving ahead with full force. It already has 700 active members, who use cycles as a regular means of transport.

Their plans involve building cycle lanes, promoting cycling to commute short distances, and encouraging youth participation in cycling sports. In the last year alone, they have organised cycle rallies and conducted cycle workshops to raise the profile of cycling. The campaign has also been lobbying government bodies to build cycle lanes on newly constructed roads and accommodate cycle lanes within existing road networks.

If the authorities reciprocate the campaigners' zeal, the usual spectacle of Kathmandu's infamous road traffic, which makes everyday cycling more akin to adventure sports, will hopefully take a turn for the better. Ride safe!

Lost in migration, SYED ZAIN AL-MAHMOOD
Long journey home
Troubled waters

1. Gauri Nath Rimal
 Build Cycle Track on the River Side of the Bagmati  Bishnumati Road Corriders.
It is heartening to read about the effort of our youths in promoting bi-cycle in the city.

We are building road along all the river sides. So we should build cycle  lanes on the riverside, adjacent of the river, of the road so that it will not be interferred by other crossings. Do,nt miss this opportunity now .

2. guras
An uplifiting story amongst all  the depressing news we are getting these days. Kudos to the team and keep up the effort.

3. Chandra Gurung
As an avid cyclist, I welcome this development. If they have 700 members, then it is a good team to start a club. Now with the club comes some legitimacy to announce these plans:

1. Learn from China. They used to had bicycle lanes even in Beijing, and what a sight they were. China, of course, is a polluted place, but the way they encouraged people to ride bikes and made it comfortable experience was something.

2. Create pockets of beautiful gardens. A cyclist loves to see flowers. It won't cost much if hundreds of kathmandubasi come together to sponsor a few small tracks along our highways. Come on, folks, it is good for our health when we are old. In some cases, we can grow flowers in Godavari and ship them to Kathmandu every two weeks for freshness.

3. Cyclist should work with flower sellers etc to make it happen. For example, I won't mind paying for the salary of one person whose job is exclusively to tend the highway sideways, but I hate to look for such person myself. Those who can afford to pay for such charity often are the people whose time is very precious and we should find a way to be conduit between those people and such 'clean' workers.

4. Increase tax on private vehicles, private motorbikes , and make it mandatory to renew them every year. Introduce nice big minibuses that don't carry more than necessary people and charge accordingly.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)