Manish Jayal, a passionate cyclist from Mayur Vihar Phase-I, was riding on the DND flyway, Noida with two of his friends on Saturday morning, when he was hit by an overspeeding car. He was taken to the nearby Dharamshila Hospital in a cab by his friends. According to his friends, he is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a conscious state and is recovering. However, this incident has infused a fear of cycling on road among other Noida-based cyclists. CitySpidey spoke to some cyclists based in Noida to understand the situation better.
Sampada Pachauri, a Noida-based cyclist who was also riding with Manish on Saturday, gave a clear description of the incident. She said, “We go on rides every weekend and that day, we were returning from our ride. Three of us were riding together including me, Manish, and Brigadier Somnath Banerji. I and Somnath live in the same society while Manish lives in Mayur Vihar. It was around 8:56 am when the accident took place. We were going to our homes.”
“While passing through the DND flyway, Somnath was ahead of me and Manish was riding behind me. At that time, Manish just went ahead of me then I suddenly saw this car coming very close and at a very high speed. Manish got hit by this car from behind, he was thrown off. He bounced on the car and then he bounced on the road. The car didn't stop to see and just went off. I ran to Manish while he was lying on the road. He wasn't moving, a lot of people gathered at the scene,” she recalled.
“Manish started bleeding from his left ear with a lot of bruises on his body. He was still not responding. We were fortunate that an anesthesiologist from Dharamshila Hospital stopped to see the accident. She came forward and assisted us. We kept calling the police and ambulance. The anesthesiologist told us that it was a head injury. She called up her hospital and asked them to keep the emergency ready for a hit-and-run case. After some time, a cab driver helped us and we took Manish to the hospital. He is now recovering but still in the ICU. His vitals are stable, he is conscious now,” she concluded
CitySpidey also talked to a cyclist from Noida in the aftermath of the accident, Deepender Sehajpal said, “I have known Manish for a long time. I wish him a speedy recovery and wish that motorists respect cyclists on the road and maintain a safe distance. The authorities should provide safe cycling lanes for riders to avoid such accidents. Such accidents create a sense of fear amongst riders who ride on the roads in absence of cycling lanes. They are afraid that it can happen to anyone next, given very little respect for cyclists on the road.”
A Noida-based cyclist and Secretary of Noida Federation of Apartments Owners Associations (NOFAA), Nisha Rai said, “Cyclists are really worried as there is no action taking place due to lack of strict laws. The police can act a little stricter with the person who was responsible for the hit-and-run incidents. Moreover, the CCTV was non-functional, so we all demanded CCTV installation on main roads as soon as possible. Group cycling no longer feels safe and neither does riding solo. A dedicated cycling track is the only solution and that lane should be used only by cyclists.”
“Manish Jayal is a passionate cyclist, very humble and down-to-earth person. He is a person who dreams to bring a change in society. He used to mentor many new cyclists to understand cycling well and bring the best out of them by giving them proper physical training. Undoubtedly, after his accident, it has created a huge space of fear in every cyclist's heart and mind to go out on the road,” said Tarun Wadhwa, a cyclist based in Noida.
“As in our nation, big politicians talk about such things but do not act on them. If our system would have created proper lanes for cyclists and pedestrians, these accident rates would have gone down by more than 70-80 per cent. We want proper dedicated lanes across NCR where no motorcyclist should enter. These dedicated lanes will not only help in promoting cycling but will also reduce carbon footprints,” he added.
President of NOFAA, Rajiva Singh said, “A large number of citizens are willing to cycle to work but their apprehension is the absence of safe and convenient cycling lanes, poor air quality, and unruly road traffic. They scare the citizens from taking up cycling.”