Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily asked the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) to promote bicycles in the city.

Speaking at an awareness programme on saving fuel at a petrol bunk in Balmatta here on Monday, he said the MCC should set up cycle stands in the city and cycles could be provided at lower rates.

He said road congestion led to petrol wastage and pollution but traffic could not be stopped just because it created congestion.

As had been done in Japan, the city corporation should build cycle stands. “We will give cycles,” he said, requesting J.R. Lobo, MLA, to follow-up on the suggestion. He said that people could travel at staggered timings.

After three months, a third party appraisal would be carried out to ascertain the effectiveness of the initiative, he said.

He said the staff at the Petroleum Ministry and its companies in Delhi took public transport every Wednesday.

The ministry and its officials had saved Rs. 2 crore till now since the drive had been launched to save fuel, about five days back.

He requested all chief ministers also to observe a bus day. Later, he told reporters that potholes were consuming “a lot of fuel” and that was the reason why the ministry was incentivising fuels savings.

He said, “We have declared awards for state transport companies… we have offered incentives such as awards to various companies and they will be awarded based on their savings within six months.”

Public transport is also being given “lots of incentives” as also the State transport, he said.

But he did not provide any details as he said he had to rush to take a flight to Delhi.

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