lndian Cycle Industry
Bicycle was seen
in India in the year 1890. Import of cycles, however, started
in 1905 and continued for more than 50 years. Complete ban on
imports was announced by the Government in July, 1953, but cycle
kept on simmering in the country till 1961. In 1890, selling
price of an imported bicycle was arround Rs. 45/-; in 1917,
during the First World War the price jumped to Rs. 500/- but
dropped considerably, month by month and came down to Rs. 35/-
or so (U. K. makes) and Rs. 15/- or so (Japanese models).
It would be interesting to mention that in 1919, five persons
in Punjab imported cycles and used them on The Mall, Simla.
These included one Bishop, Two military men and two contractors
including S. Pala Singh Bhogal (Grand Father of Mr. M.S. Bhogal
of Ludhiana). Under special permission of the Governor, they
were allowed to use cycles on 'The Mall' only for one hour in
a day. They imported B.S.A. Cross Bar Cycle from U.K. and it
used to be a kind of Mela at that particular hour on the Mall
in Simla, the scene watched by hundreds of people everyday.
Later, a firm was formed under the name of Singh & Co. with
shops on Railway Road, Jalandhar and Bazar Vakillan, Hoshiarpur,
which imported bicycles in the year 1930 onwards.