NDMC flags off nine-day bicycle tours through Lutyens’ Delhi

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The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Friday flagged off a bicycle tour, as part of its ‘Cycle4Change’ pilot project to promote cycling in the capital city. The tour was launched from Bikaner House (near India Gate) and hundreds of participants rode on a 6km dedicated corridor up to Lodhi Gardens, said NDMC officials.

The guided tour will be on for nine days — from October 2 to 10 — and is open to all, but participants who must bring their own bicycles. These can also be rented from one of the public bike-sharing stations in the NDMC area.

NDMC chairperson Dharmendra said, “At the time when physical and sports activities have been drastically curtailed in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, NDMC has initiated a move toward normalcy and road safety by organising cycle rides in the New Delhi area. To elevate the safety, convenience and experience of cyclists, we have dedicated this pilot corridor of 6km to a unique cycling experience, around a recreational space surrounded by wall paintings.”

Based on the success of this pilot project, many more corridors in the NDMC area may be dedicated to cyclists in the winter months, he added.

“The cycle tour is organised in two slots — three hours in the morning (6am to 9am) and two hours in the evening (5pm to 7pm). Cyclists would start from Bikaner House and go via Humayun Road, Amrita Shergil Marg, Jor Bagh Metro station, Lodhi Garden Gate No.6, Lodhi Garden Gate No.11, Avenue Road-2, and Lodhi Colony Block-17 before arriving at the Lodhi Colony Cycle Plaza,” a statement from the NDMC said.

A senior NDMC official said on Friday, around 1,000 cyclists took part in the morning tours, which stretched till noon on account of Friday being Gandhi Jayanti, a public holiday. The event, however, could not be held in the evening because of a protest demonstration at India Gate, the official said.

At least four public bike sharing stations fall on this route, including one near Bikaner House and Lodhi Garden. E-scooters or motorcycles are not allowed in the tour, NDMC said.

“We have tied up with the Delhi traffic police to keep the corridor free of heavy traffic during the tour slots. Also, we have deployed our marshals to ensure safety of women and children along the route,” the NDMC official said.

He added that the nine-day period will be assessed to see if this corridor could permanently be made into a dedicated corridor for cyclists.

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