Pimpri Chinchwad resident pedals for sustainable transportation

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Ashik Jain, bicycle mayor of Pimpri Chinchwad city aims at 50 % of city population to use bicycle by 2030.

Akash Dhanurkar ——————————————————————————-

Boosting the immune system with rigorous workout has been on the rise, but as the gyms are still closed, people have opted for bicycles as the convenient mode of maintaining fitness standards. It goes without saying that people have been also considering the use of cycle for transportation; thus, giving a boost to sustainable transportation. 
Ashik Jain, a Pimpri Chinchwad resident and the Bicycle mayor of the city, appointed by BYCS, an Amsterdam based social enterprise promoting the use of bicycle to help adopt the world a culture of sustainable transportation, aims at making of 50 % of population of the city pedal by 2030. 

“A bicycle is a simple machine that can resolve many complex issues of our society,” says Ashik. 

An architect and Urban planner, Ashik believes that cycling is not just a sport or a mode of transport, but an ideology that has ability of solving seemingly ceaseless issues in our society. He has been promoting the concept of sustainable transportation through the ‘Green Lane Campaign’, under which he educates and convinces the school going kids to write letters to the city officials for safe, convenience cycle infrastructure for the city.  

He has till date reached around 87 schools to promote the campaign, under which 300 children have written letters to the city officials attaching their conceptual art of Bicycle dependent city. He also holds a record of cycling 5,500 km from Sri Nagar to Kanyakumari in 2014. Ashik is currently serving his tenure of 4 years as a Bicycle mayor, with completion of one year at present. There are around 100 bicycle mayors in and around the world with 40 mayors in India and Ashik is one of them representing Pimpri Chinchwad. Recently, he was also a part of ‘Cycles 4 Change’, an initiative of central government initiated in PCMC on 2nd October. 
He says, “Before cycling, my main aim is to understand the safety, convenience and comfort of cycling on the streets of our city.”

With the help of PCMC officials, he was able to track the vulnerable and unsuitable areas for cycling in PCMC. PCMC officials, too, have taken a note of it. The target given to bicycle mayor is voluntary job, and every mayor aims to promote cycling and achieving the target of having 50 % of the work trips on cycle. According to the survey, 15 % of the total population of PCMC cycles their trips. Only 2 -3 cities in the world has a record of 50% of population using bicycle for their trips. 

He further says, “It is hard for us to conduct a survey amid COVID, so, we largely rely on the census survey conducted by the government. However, India has been seeing the rise in the bicycle users, which has come as good news to us.”

Insisting people about using the cycle, Ashik concludes, “Honestly, sustainable transportation is a tough job until we come together and make it happen. If we all start reaping benefits out of daily cycling then one may have benefits of health and wealth from the activity.”