Cycling crusade

Published: Wednesday 30 April 1997

The cycling junkets of the chief minister (CM) of Delhi, Sahib Singh Verma, came to a breaking halt with the sudden turn of events at the Centre. The CM has been pedalling hard on his bicycle to push for - payment of the dues owed by the Centre to the Delhi government in compensation for abolition of octroi, the Delhi Transport Corporation dues and a share in Central taxes -which are his government's basic demands.

With the powers-that-be busy saving their political future and nobody to take heed of his protests, the CM has wisely gone back to his official car. But he would continue his protests by way of continuing symbolic cycling - from his residence to his office and back - a distance of little over a kilometre. During the cycling protest period from March 28-31, the CM zipped around town on his spanking new bike to attend official functions and make his daily visits to various places. However, his missionary zeal does not come without its share of problems.The cycling expedition threw traffic out of gear as the police set up an elaborate security cordon for the CM accompanied by around 200 persons. Critics say that the exercise would also mean an extra burden on the exchequer. The CM, however, plans to keep pedalling till his demands are fulfilled. Until then, he might encourage Delhiites to adopt cycling as an eco-friendly means of travelling.

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