Back To The Cycle for Health

Today, in Imphal city, the tinkle of bicycle bells has died and the lanes of the city have been taken over by cars, bikes and passenger service vehicles. We have stopped using pedal power for commuting, sending children to school or making a living. It has become a thing of the past. But, still a very few people are cycling around the city. With the ever-increasing pace of our daily lives, we have chosen cars, bikes and scooters as a means of quick travel. Are we really in a state of hurry all the time? Bicycle wheels will really make us slow down and think that we don’t have to be in haste. It will certainly enable many to lead a fuel free and economical life.

The launching of the Manipur cycle club on 23 January at the hall of Maharaja Bodhchandra College, Imphal for the first time in the State was indeed a remarkable event at a time when the people are upset with the recent fuel price hikes. However, the club aims to promote its use among the poor and rich alike considering its overall health benefit as well as well being of the people. My sincere suggestion is that the State Government should encourage bicycles as transport by constructing separate subways for cyclists. For example, the sides of the Nambul and Imphal rivers fall under the Imphal city can be used as bicycle paths. If such idea or plan turns out to be a reality, it’ll encourage the people to commute by bicycle. In fact, rivers of cyclists would be seen flowing down the riverside. Many people who want to travel by bicycles are discouraged by the volume of traffic and congestions caused by the ever-increasing number of vehicles on the roads of the city.

Cars may be a sign of affluence, but the scooter’s staying power on the roads of the city is a reminder that most of Manipur’s 25 lakh people have yet to make it into the middle class. There are so many people who cannot afford to buy even scooters. On the other hand, oil price hikes in the last few months have been casting a shadow across the country. However, the Government has to hike the prices of petrol and its products every now and again and it’ll happen corresponding to the increase in the global price. In my opinion, it’s not much necessary to talk about this matter. We have to accept the fact. The best thing we can do I believe is that we should opt something that can save some if not all of our money when we spend it on fuel.

In the present context, the practice of economic driving and buying fuel-efficient vehicles will certainly reduce the pain of fuel price hike. It’s high time that we put emphasis on fuel economy. Many of the two wheeler vehicles travelling in Imphal city are no more considered to be fuel-efficient. Scooters like Bajaj Super, Vespa-150, Chetak may not give much mileage in comparing to the new ones such as Honda Activa, Access, Scooty, Pleasure and some other motor bikes which are now popular on the roads. Also, aged engines are likely to consume more fuel. We, therefore, should be very careful next time we buy cars, bikes and scooters.

However, it’s not only the type of vehicle which will save fuel alone, but the most important thing is economical driving and learning lessons to increase fuel efficiency. For instance, when queuing for longer than three minutes, switch off your engine. An idling engine wastes fuel and increase carbon dioxide emissions.

Further, here is a list of the top ten fuel-efficient cars in India ( –  In addition to being the cheapest car in India (and the world); the Tata Nano is also the most fuel-efficient. It gives a mileage of about 23.65 kmpl Maruti Suzuki A-star-19.6 kmpl, Chevrolet Beat – 18.61 kmpl, Chevrolet Spark – 18.29 kmpl., Chevrolet Cruze MT – 18.27 kmpl, Maruti Suzuki Estilo – 18.2 kmpl, Maruti Suzuki Alto – 18.1 kmpl, Hyundai i10 1.2 liter – 18.06 kmpl,  Hyundai  i10 1-1 liter – 17.83 and Maruti Suzuki Ritz BS IV – 17.7 kmpl.

*The article is written by Balu Thongam

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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