Shimla: Amid covid pandemic and health safety concerns being a top priority, cycling enthusiasts have demanded the inclusion of cycles as an essential commodity and preferred mode of transport.

They have also sought for issuing of an advisory recommending people for the use of bicycles as a preferred mode of transport.

Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) representing a collective citizen of Shimla, has written to the district administration, not only to declare bicycles as an essential service but also promotion of cycling as the preferred mode of transport in Shimla district during the pandemic.

Their other demands include allowing bicycle shops to open from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm for 5 days a week.

To encourage and promote bicycling need was also felt to allow bicycles on restricted routes through cycling lanes, designated bicycle parking in all government offices and allow temporary parking of bicycles at three locations including CTO, Shimla Shimla Club and Lakkar Bazaar.

Ashish Sood an active cyclist and HASTPA founder member said, ” Himachal could lead the way in defining how best people could commute during and post covid pandemic era in the country. We have submitted memorandum to the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, Deputy Commissioner Shimla, Municipal Corporation Shimla Mayor and Commissioner.”

As many as 1151 signatories have endorsed the online petition, to support the cause which was also submitted along with the memorandum, he added.

Other than Shimla, signatories from other districts of Mandi, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Solan, Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti, Sirmaur and Kangra have endorsed the cause.