BHUBANESWAR: From cycle rallies to yoga sessions, street volleyball to skating, there was something in store for everyone. As the temperate weather kept spirit of participants high, the much expected Raahgiri Day made its debut in the State Capital on Sunday.
There was a lot to explore on the stretch of Janpath which witnessed several activities with people waiting in queues for cycles for free ride on one side while dance and other fitness activities were in full swing on stages on the other.
Family and friends came together to bike, skate, run and walk. Besides, community leisure activities such as acrobatics, story-telling, street games and dancing, yoga and aerobics were a hit among both youths and elderly alike.
While some preferred to walk along the one km stretch between Station Square and Ram Mandir Square, youngsters kept themselves occupied in singing and dancing.
During the event, one whole section of Janpath was restricted for cars and other motorised transport. Games like football, volleyball and painting exhibitions kept the public engrossed for a good four and a half hours.
The event has a positive impact on several aspects like non-motorised transport usage, road safety, greater engagement among people and increased physical activity. This is an effort to make Bhubaneswar a sustainable and environment friendly city, Tourism Minister Ashok Panda said.
It was more about people - cyclists and walkers asserting their rights on the road. Students from schools across the City organised a campaign to create awareness about cleanliness.
Even though the linear stretch has wide roads, of late, increasing number of motor vehicles has made it impossible for pedestrians to walk freely without being worried about speeding cars. The situation is messy and the area has lost its charm.
As a street event, Raahgiri Day provides citizens the opportunity to reclaim the streets, connect with people and unwind in a completely informal and impromptu manner, BMC Commissioner Dr Krishan Kumar said.
Among others, Lok Sabha member Prasanna Patsani, Mayor AN Jena, Chief Secretary AP Padhi, Police Commissioner Dr RP Sharma and DCP Satyabrata Bhoi actively participated in the event.
Nine Bicycles Go Missing
Bhubaneswar: As many as nine bicycles, which were let on rent for free rides during the Raahgiri Day celebration, went missing at the end of the programme. Persons who had taken the bicycles from the temporary cycle stand set up near Station Square had been asked to deposit them with the volunteers after their ride. However, some bikers chose to take the bicycles home instead of returning it to the volunteers engaged by BMC. The bicycles were issued only after production of identity cards. However, some biking enthusiasts managed to give the system a slip taking advantage of the big crowd at the cycle stand when the dignitaries were present, sources said. “This was unethical on the part of some participants. We would lodge a complaint with Kharvela Nagar police on Monday about the loss,” Assistant PRO, BMC Gopal Panigrahi said.