Chandigarh is one of the 95 cities to have registered for the India Cycles4Change Challenge, an initiative of Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The India programme of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) is the knowledge partner of the Smart Cities Mission in conducting this challenge and guiding cities through it.
K K Yadav, Municipal Commissioner-cum-CEO, Chandigarh Smart City Ltd, said that through this challenge, the registered cities will implement quick interventions to create a safe and cycling-friendly city.
“To ensure this transformation, Chandigarh is committed to working with its citizens as it develops and implements the proposals. Community engagement is a key component of the initiative, and with the support of citizens, this programme will be a success,” he said.
The Commissioner specified that the motto of the programme is ‘Pedal your bicycles and ride towards your good health’. He said that the India Cycles4Change Challenge was announced recently by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge), MoHUA, at the 5th Anniversary Celebrations of the Smart Cities Mission.
“It aims to inspire and support the cities to implement quick cycling-friendly initiatives in response to COVID-19. The Challenge will run in two stages,” he stated.
Stage 1 will run until October, where cities will pilot initiatives such as pop-up cycle lanes, host public consultations, conduct surveys and hold campaigns to promote cycling, which will help develop a scale-up strategy. Based on the pilots and the city-wide proposals submitted, 11 cities will be shortlisted in October for stage 2. In this stage, they will be awarded Rs 1 crore and will be guided by national and international exports to scale up the initiatives. This stage will extend till May 2021.
During the course of the challenge, cities will be guided through online workshops, technical knowledge material and peer-to-peer learning discussions with fellow cities. This will help cities to strategise and implement pilots while also developing their scale-up proposal.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is an opportunity for cities to reinvent themselves. Cycling offers us a healthy, affordable and COVID-safe solution for a green recovery. Through this challenge, cities will have to create a shared vision with their citizens. Every citizen should come together to ignite a cycling transformation in Chandigarh,” Yadav added.
He said that interested citizens can volunteer/mobilise volunteers for the initiatives, spread the word through social networks and may sponsor or bring in sponsors.
The city has rolled out a survey to understand citizens’ perception of cycling. The survey aims to identify the barriers to cycling in Chandigarh and inform the design process.
“The city urges all the consultants, corporates or concerned citizens to support the city in Cycles4Change Challenge by filling in survey form using the link https://forms.gle/6L4hDySrzHEz7btH9,” a statement issued by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation said.
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