With a view to bring down pollution, decongest traffic and improve public health, Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) launched a bicycle sharing project and a cycling club on World Bicycle Day on Sunday. The civic body said the project is a part of its eco-mobility plan for the city.
Minister of State for Science and Technology, Govind Patel flagged of a bicycle rally from Kisanpara Chowk in the city to mark the launch of the project called Cycle Sharing Project, in the presence of city mayor Raksha Boliya. Later on, the minister, Rajkot municipal commissioner Vijay Nehra and local leaders of ruling BJP joined the bicycle rally. Cycling enthusiasts and school girls also participated in the rally which culminated in a meeting at Rotary Midtown Library on Amin Marg.
“Today, the world is worried about global warming. We fear, the environment balance has been disturbed and we are facing its result. To mitigate this, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed people to use bicycle once a week for travelling. It will improve our health, help protect environment and also reduce consumption of oil,” the Minister said while addressing the gathering at Kisanpara Chowk.
Patel further said that use of bicycles will also help a great deal to solve problem of traffic congestion in the city.
As part of the project, the RMC has received 60 new ranger bicycles as donation from private individuals. The civic body has set up four bicycle control cabins at Central Bus Depot of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation on Dhebar Road, at Trikon Baug where depot of city bus service is located, at Kisanpara Chowk on Race Course and at Indira Circle on University Road. Each of these points will have 15 bicycles each. As per the project, bicycles will be available free of cost for initial two hours for a month. After the first two hours, a Rs5 hourly charge will be applicable. One will have to submit original proof of personal identity to hire a bicycle. From May 19, the first two hours will also become chargeable.
“This initiative has the potential to give Rajkot a global identity. Our city has already been recognised as a global solar city and recently we have also been selected for a global project on sustainable development. If people take this cycling project up, we shall increase the number of bicycle to 6,000,” Nehra said at while addressing cycling enthusiasts at Kisanpara Chowk.
At the world congress of city governments in South Korea last week, Rajkot was selected as the only city from Asia-Pacific region for a pilot project of District Energy in Cities initiative of United Nation’s Environment Programme (NEP). The UNEP initiative promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy in urban areas. The city was also recognised for its Low Emission Development Strategy. Rajkot is already implementing energy conservation and sustainable development programmes of International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), a blobal organisation of cities.
“The Cycle Sharing Project is part of our eco-mobility plan which seeks to promote eco-friendly modes of mobility like, walking, cycling and public transport. We have set up bicycle points where there is maximum public activity. Cycling will improve health of people as well as solving problem of traffic and parking,” the municipal commissioner further said.
Later the RMC also formed Rajkot Cycling Club at a gathering in Rotary Midtown Library on Amin Marg. The commissioner said the aim of the club was to promote cycling habit among residents of Rajkot.
Cycle rally on Gujarat Day
The municipal commissioner said that Rajkot Municipal Corporation will organise a cycle rally along the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridor in the city on May 1 to celebrate the Gujarat foundation day. “The BRTS corridor has dedicated cycling tracks. We shall clear these tracks of all the encroachment and promote cycling on the 10-kilometre-long route by the cycle rally on Gujart Day,” said Nehra.