Noida: Leading a six-km-long cycle rally here to promote the cycling habit among citizens, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday urged organisations to develop schemes to incentivise the use of cycles for coming to offices as a way to curb air pollution.
Over 500 cycling enthusiasts took part in the cycle rallies here and in the neighbouring district capital of Ghaziabad by state-run Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), which distributes environment-friendly compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles and piped national gas (PNG) to consumers in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The Environment Minister, who flagged off the rally along with local Member of Parliament Mahesh Sharma, noted the benefits of physical activities like cycling to maintain good health.
A series of cycle rallies called "cyclothons" are being organized across 76 cities across India by various fuel retail companies under the aegis of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA).
With a direct relation between cycling and conserving transport fuel, last month the PCRA had organised the national capital`s first Saksham Pedal Delhi Cyclothon that saw participation of around 5,000 people and which included the National Cycling Championships as a component feature.
India`s 150 elite cyclists were seen in action at the National Cycling Championships in November, including Mumbai-based film actor and cycling enthusiast Farhan Akhtar, who is the brand ambassador of Saksham Pedal Delhi.
Announcing the event, PCRA Executive Director Alok Tripathi had said the transformations in Indian society had made it all the more urgent to bring about a change of mindset on fuel use, and that the cyclothon had been timed to coincide with the seasonal worsening of air pollution in Delhi.