AFTER TWO unsuccessful attempts to attract private companies for the ambitious project of public bicycle sharing system, Chennai-based Smartbike Mobility Pvt Ltd has come forward showing interest in the project. A five-member technical committee of the smart city project will examine the technical bid of the company on August 26.
The project, which is estimated to be worth Rs 20 crore and will be in the mode of public private partnership (PPP), has been in the limbo for the last four years despite the fact that 617 locations and number of bicycles, 5000, were decided. The locations are spread throughout Chandigarh covering almost all the markets, important tourist destinations and public transport places. Chandigarh is the first city in the country to start public bicycle sharing system at a large scale encouraging people to use bicycles.
N P Sharma, general manager, smart city project, said, “We received the technical bid of Smartbike Mobility Pvt Ltd of Chennai. The company has already worked in the field of bike sharing in different cities, including Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi and Amaravati. Indeed, only one company has come forward but as the mode of this project is PPP, the administration has nothing to spend on this project. There is no chance of the bidding process being challenged. The company will have to decide modes of generating the revenue. One: charges for using the bikes. Second: advertisement charges.”
Sources said there are three stages for allotting the tender to a company. First: the technical bid of the company will be checked by the technical committee of smart city project. Second: if the technical bid is approved, it will be sent for scrutiny of financial bid. Third: the final approval will be given by the Board of Directors.
In 2016-17, a tender for the project was floated by the Municipal Corporation but it was withdrawn because the governing body of smart city project was not made. For a second time, the tender was floated in 2018 but no company came forward.
As per the terms and conditions, those who have the smart card (rechargeable) will get a bicycle for Rs 5 per hour and those who don’t possess any smart card will be getting it for Rs 10 per hour.