Children, families keen to ride bicycles on holidays

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5-km cycling route in Islamabad inaugurated

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Cyclists can now ride around the city and enjoy its picturesque sights while pedaling at their own leisurely pace and get some much needed physical exercise at the same time. The first ever cycling lane was formally inaugurated in Islamabad here on Saturday with an aim to overcome environmental pollution by promoting cycling culture.
The lane was jointly inaugurated by Mayor Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) Sh Ansar Aziz and Ambassador of Argentine Ivan Ivanissevich at Constitution Avenue in Islamabad. Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Green Pakistan Syed Rizwan Mehboob, Deputy Mayor Ch Riffat Javed, a good number of diplomats and their families, officials of the Ministry of Environment and CDA were also present on the occasion.
On the occasion, Argentine envoy expressed his pleasure at the fact that 5-km route is being reserved for cyclists in the federal capital that will give the city an international look and also go a long way in preserving its green environment. Mayor Ansar Aziz said that it our top priority to provide recreational facilities to the citizens and more cycling lanes would be made at important roads of the city.
He said that Islamabad has become the first city of the country and 101sf city in the world by signing Islamabad Green Charter to adopt UN Urban Environmental Accords. Under Islamabad Green Charter Action Plan, Islamabad would be made more beautiful and cycling lane to be established at each new road. The existing infrastructure has been used for this cycling project especially for youth and children. Cycling is a healthy as well as environmental friendly activity, he said and sought the cooperation of media and other stakeholders for extending this project.
Syed Rizwan Mehboob said that practical steps have been taken towards environment-friendly Islamabad. Deputy Mayor Islamabad Riffat Javed said that MCI was committed to promoting health activities and every possible effort would be made for it.
Later the participants rode bicycles from D-Chowk to Foreign Office and then towards Serena Chowk. It was told that cycling lanes are being stretched at Kohsar Market and Jinnah Super while planning is underway for such lanes at F-9 Park and Metro Stations.
Tracks along four main thoroughfares in the city, in the first phase, would be prepared. It may be mentioned here that cycling lanes had been included with all the roads built when Islamabad was first constructed. However, over time these lanes fell to disrepair and were either encroached or in certain areas totally vanished.
In September this year the capital’s residents including diplomats cycled through Constitution Avenue to raise awareness about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

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