Cycling could help economy, avoid premature death: Study News: Cycling for short distance trips can yield an annual benefit of ₹1.8 trillion to the economy Important Facts:
  • According to analysis conducted by The Energy Resources Institute (Teri), cycling regularly for an average distance of 3.5 km for just 120 days can help avoid 4,756 premature deaths.
  • More than half of India uses “non-motorised” forms of transport, such as walking and cycling, to travel to work, followed by two-wheelers (18%) and buses (16%)
  • Cycle sales have risen only 1% in a decade as opposed to a 9% rise in cars and two wheelers but still cyclists in cities constitute nearly 40% of those who travel more than 21 km for work the same as those who commute a similar distance by car.
  • Substituting just half the short distance work trips, which are undertaken by two-wheelers and cars, with cycles, could result in massive savings about ₹27 billion from fuel expenditure and 0.35 Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent (MTOE) in terms of energy,
  • At present, the cheapest bicycle available in India costs around ₹2,500-₹5,000, which accounts for 15% of the annual per capita income in rural areas. In comparison, the cheapest bicycle in China accounts for only 2.5% of the annual per capita income in rural areas
  • Lack of dedicated cycling lanes, as well as poorly maintained roads, in several cities, cycling is fraught with danger in India.
Suggestions:
  • The government should reduce Goods and Services Tax (GST) on cycles that cost less than ₹5,000.
  • Promote manufacturing of bicycles because it absorbs unskilled labour, and discourage personal motorised vehicles through congestion charges, increased cost of parking, and a pollution tax.