The Environment Minister has said that the Ministry will take steps to promote the use of bicycles as one of the steps to reduce air pollution.
The decision was announced following discussions on the Bicycle for a Healthy Life program implemented by Ride for Life to promote the use of bicycles in transportation.
He said a cabinet memorandum has been prepared to take steps to promote the use of bicycles as one of the steps to reduce air pollution.
A survey conducted by experts has revealed that the government has to spend Rs. 103.56 per kilometer for a traveling vehicle during traffic jams in cities, said Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera.
However, using a bicycle can save Rs. 236.48 per kilometer and the profit to the government is Rs. 339.98, the Minister said.
Therefore, steps will be taken to provide an eco-friendly approach to the promotion of bicycle use due to its ability to reduce air pollution, prevent wastage of time as well as control many non-communicable diseases due to cycling.
Accordingly, it has been decided to set aside a lane on each road for cycling and to introduce a regulatory program to provide certain promotion benefits to cyclists in institutions affiliated to the Ministry of Environment.
The Government is seeking the assistance to extend this initiative to other public and private institutions. He also said that the President has decided to give priority to electric vehicles if vehicles are to be imported within the next year.
He also said that the bicycle which was considered as the vehicle of the poor has now become the vehicle of the rich. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)