Some laws and policies cover cycling, but these are not being applied in Bangladesh properly. So, the laws and policies are not working in practice.
Against this backdrop, Poribesh Bachao Andolon (Save the Environment Movement-Poba) demanded necessary amendments to the laws and policies in order to ensure their proper application.
The platform has, however, made six-point recommendations on cycling. The demands include encouraging students to use bicycles for regular commuting to their educational institutions.
The recommendations and the demand were made at a discussion titled ‘Review and Modernization of Existing Laws and Policies on Cycling’ held virtually on Saturday (October 2).
The other demands are-- to make the implemented bicycle lanes free from encroachment and make them passable; bicycle lanes should be implemented on highways and other necessary places; offices, courts, markets and tourist places need to be bicycle friendly; laws and policies that hinder cycling need to be amended and widespread public awareness needs to be created by promoting the benefits of cycling.
Abu Naser Khan, chairman of the Save the Environment Movement, Syed Mahbubul Alam Tahin, an expert on public health, Gaous Pearee, director at the Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust, researcher and architect Zakaria Ibn Razzaq Russell, Arif Ahmed, general secretary of BD Click, Samiul Hasan Sajib, project officer of WBB Trust, Mesbah Sumon, coordinator of Greenforce, and Rozina Akhter, coordinator of BD Tourist Cycling, joined the discussion, among others.
In his speech, Abu Naser Khan said, “Laws and policies are very important to maintain our overall ecosystem. The use of bicycles should be made popular and easy not just for exercise or control of diabetes, but also for daily activities. Bicycle parking should be arranged in offices, courts, markets. Besides, there should be an opportunity to change clothes in government and non-government organisations. Policies should be formulated to facilitate the use of bicycles instead of cars in office work.”
Speaking on the occasion, Gaous Pearee said that bicycle is a popular and important vehicle that is environmentally friendly, affordable and can be parked in a small space. The importance of cycling will increase if the government conducts public awareness campaign on the benefit and use of cycling, she added.
She further said that arrangements should be taken to ensure the safe and secured cycle route and network. The younger generation needs to be encouraged to ride bicycle. Tax should be waived for bicycles.
Zakaria Ibn Razzaq Russell said that the laws and policies on cycling should be applied properly. Amendments to the laws and polices is a must for proper application of the laws and policies.
Arif Ahmed said that bicycle lane on the highway should be implemented. Emphasis should be given on making the laws and policies on cycling in time-befitting.