Ludhiana: SAD puts weight behind city bicycle manufacturers
The industrial wing of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has put its weight behind the bicycle manufacturers of Ludhiana demanding that the proposal of central government to paint all cycles in fluorescent should not be made mandatory.
Bicycle industry based in Ludhiana has been protesting as painting of bicycles in stark colours will increase the cost significantly.
The proposal of central government has come in the wake of increasing accidents of bicycle riders on roads due to non-visibility of cycles during evening and nighttime. Manufacturers say the roadster bicycle on which black paint is used is a means of transportation for poor people in different states of the country and using stark paints would increase the cost of bicycle.
Different bicycles and bicycle parts associations have united against the orders and have asked the central government that such a law should not be brought into the force that would affect the bicycle industry.
Manufacturers say that many reflectors are used on single bicycle that were “enough” during night time. A delegation of cycle manufacturers also met Shailendra Singh, joint secretary, department of industrial policy and promotion, ministry of commerce and industry, New Delhi to discuss the matter.
Interestingly, SAD industrial wing chief Satish Dhanda led the delegation to New Delhi to keep their point. Dhanda impressed upon the joint secretary that the proposal should not be made mandatory.
Dhanda said the ministry of road transport and highways had recommended that yellow and orange colors should be used on bicycles to ensure safety of riders during evening time.
“However, we kept our point that there were other means to ensure safety of bicycle riders during night, including separate lanes and good-quality reflectors on cycles. We have presented our point and were waiting for the government's response now,” Dhanda said.
On the other hand, various cycle associations have also launched an attack against the proposal stating that it would ruin the industry that is already facing recession.
“As reflectors are already fixed with different angles at pedals and spokes for better visibility and also reflective stickers are pasted on frames, it is not necessary to use stark colours on bicycles,” said Gurmeet Kular, president of Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organization (FICO).
He said bicycle and its parts industry comprises a few large plants and 3,000 to 4,000 small units with annual production of 15.5 million bicycles (10% of world production).
Even the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturer Association (UCPMA) has taken a tough stand on the issue. The association also sent a letter to the ministry of commerce and industry, and other department related to the matter.
UCPMA president Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma said, “Bicycle is a poor man's vehicles. It is very hard and difficult for them to afford bicycles due to its price. If stark colors will be used, the cost of bicycle will go up, and as a result it will be very difficult for poor man to buy it.”
UCPMA demanded that there should be separate lanes for bicycles in every city of the country as most of the accidents occur due to non-availability of these lanes.