The oil blowout at Baghjan, the illegal mining at Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, the mega dams coming up in Dibang Valley, the controversial EIA Draft 2020, all seems to have lost momentum and interest of the citizens.
Being conscious about the need for cycling as well as to highlight the aforementioned issues to the citizens, a group of budding cyclists took to the streets of Guwahati and different parts of Assam on 27th September to hold a decentralized cycle rally around various parts of the city.
Initiated by Fridays For Future Guwahati, Green Bud Society and Muse Foundation, the rally saw the cyclists carry placards emphasizing the dire condition of our regional biodiversity hotspots, the need to take climate emergency seriously and urging the government to do the needful to save the environment instead of exploiting it.
The bicyclists felt concerned about the exploitation of Dehing Patkai Elephant
Reserve where illegal coal mining has been known. They expressed that Reserve needs to be assessed, the national park will be expanded and the forest department needs to be made equipped enough to save Dehing Patkai. The Baghjan OIL disaster is another burning issue that was highlighted by the cyclists expressing strong sentiments for the restoration of surrounding areas of the Baghjan blowout, including the Maguri Beel, and stoppage of the incessant gas leak.
The scope of the cycle rally was shared by enthusiastic individuals and groups of cyclists beyond Guwahati too who held their own rallies in their respective locations as well, namely,
Chirang, Bongaigaon, Pathsala, Nalbari, Biswanath Chariali, Udalguri, Tezpur,Lakhimpur, Dhekiajuli, Barak Valley. A total number of 40 bicyclists took part in the cycle rally which took place across various parts of Guwahati.
Arghadeep Barua, an avid environmentalist says, “What we see at this point of time is how our natural resources are extracted without giving a second thought to our environment and our local people. So, the nation and its people are crying for the injustice done to the people and also to the environment. Hence we ended our rally with the song Buku Hom hom kore by Bhupen Hazarika.”