Friday, March 26, 2021

Welcome Bicycles and Electric Vehicles

Welcome bicycles and electric vehicles 

On 3rd June, the World Bicycle Day, Union Minister Health Shri Harsh Vardhan cycle to office to take charge of Health Ministry, was the head line in India. He commented, “Cycling is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean & environmentally sustainable means of transport”.

Post independence, India was a country of cycles and cycle at home was a prestige item. Now, it is country of motorcycles, where the youth even for picking up milk bag or small articles of home consumption prefer to kick the bike. In big towns and cities the two wheelers and four wheelers are increasing by leaps and bounds. Automobile revolution has changed India and changed the life style of Indians. 

The speed of the wheels give pace to the speed of development but it brings health hazards and pollution problems too. The physical fitness and strength of the Human Resource is India is diminishing. They prefer white collar jobs to blue collar. Bicycles have gone out of roads and tummies of majority are out of their boxes. Without physical activities, lungs of many are unable to breathe enough oxygen, making them weak and tired. 

China was facing traffic and pollution problem during rush hours in larger cities due to very high number of four wheeler cars movement. They have started auctions of number plates. They declare the monthly quota of the number plates for the city and invite bids online. Those pay more, get the number plat of the city. This way they are able to restrict the number of vehicles in the city. The local plates are allowed to drive on elevated roads in rush hours (7AM to 9AM, 4.30PM to 6.30PM). Outsiders drive on narrow roads. CCTV records and those breach are fined.

The number plates for the Electric Cars are free and 7% discount given on the price of the car. Therefore, one can see more number of green colour plats (electric car) on roads of major cities of China. It has increased the sales of electric cars and restricted the sales of gasoline cars. Some people try to buy the car from their native village-town to save the cost of number plat, but they can’t drive on selected roads during rush hours and can’t drive down to downtown, and market areas. If they breach, they are fined. Electric cars have no restrictions but the gasoline cars have to follow odd-even number plate drive pattern during rush hours. As a result, more electric cars are promoted and the pollution decreased. Traffic is regulated and people are put under disciplined and income of government increased. Win win for all. 

Small, low speed and light weight electric scooters are very popular in China, as there is no license required. Teenagers, ladies and married men are using them the most. They are economical, handy and useful for the house wives for daily shopping and dropping picking up children from schools. 

One can see plenty of bicycles on Chinese roads. Govt provide bicycles free of cost with the deposit of RNB 200. Private agency gives on rent. There is GPS to detect the vehicle if someone stole it. 

The QR code payment system made the life of Chinese very easy. It has eased the tourists and youths for picking up bicycles from the stand, use them during the paid hours and drop them at the nearby stand. 

Compared to Indians, Chinese ride more bicycles and use more electric vehicles. China dominates the world market of electric cars and scooters. Days are not away, when Indian roads will have more electric vehicles. 

5 June 2019


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