Nepali students promote cycle-friendly city to help save earth

08:10, July 02, 2010      

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A group of 12 students from Kathmandu University have started a campaign called "Kathmandu Cycle City (KCC) 2020" in order to make the Nepal capital a bicycle-friendly city by 2020.

KCC 2020 is supported by Team for Nature and Wildlife, a non-governmental organization working in different ares and aspects of environmental conservation.

Rajan Kathet, founder and media coordinator for KCC 2020, said that their aim is to encourage cycling as an eco-friendly and economically efficient means of transportation.

However, Kathet said so far it has been difficult to convince the general public to use bicycles.

"Because of the stereotype that bicycle indicates poverty, and it isn't fashionable among youth in Nepal," he added.

Spokesperson of the group Shail Shrestha explains that southern Nepal is geographically cycle-friendly and many people in the plains (Terai region) ride bikes. Cycling also has become a prominent sport with tourists, he added.

Kathet and Shrestha both explained they saw an urgent need to act as the number of vehicles in the capital Kathmandu Valley continues to rise, which led the group organize various programs to increase general public awareness.

"Our aim is to promote cycling for commuting to conserve our environment," they said.

Most recently, KCC 2020 held a cycle rally on World Environment Day as well as conducting various cycle rallies at different events.

Plans for sports events and school presentations to promote cycling and its multidimensional benefits among students are in the works.

When asked regarding the success of the campaign, Shrestha said, "Of course 10 years is a long period but we are working with every transport network in the city, which is definitely time consuming."

"We are not just working for cycle lanes on existing roads but also other cycle infrastructures in the newly-built roads," he added.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王寒露)

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