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Friday, August 12, 2022

Chandigarh: Country’s ‘largest’ bike-sharing system marred by shoddy upkeep

Currently, Chandigarh has more than 2,500 bicycles, both electric and manual, across 300 plus docking stations.

Written by Sushant Nepta | Chandigarh |
Updated: July 7, 2022 6:38:30 am
Chandigarh: Country’s ‘largest’ bike-sharing system marred by shoddy upkeepTwo bicycles stations at Sector 16 docking station. (Express Photo)

The city that claims to have the largest public bike-sharing system in the country Chandigarh used by an estimated 1,500 people on a daily basis is seemingly struggling with the upkeep and management of the system.

Set in motion with much fan fare in August last year, the bike-sharing system has been marred by several issues of technical glitches, ill-maintenance, vandalism ever since its inception which remains unceasing till date.

Currently, the city has more than 2,500 bicycles, both electric and manual, across 300 plus docking stations.

This may expand to 5,000 bicycles with 600 plus docks after the fourth and final phase of the project is completed. The target for completion is by the end of this year.

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The Indian Express tried to assess the gravitas of the matter. There were only two bicycles in front of the GMSH, Sector 16 docking station and only a single bicycle in Sector 10 market docking station with vehicles parked between the space for cycles.

QR codes of some cycles in Sectors 15, 19, 24 docking stations had torn seats, underinflated tyres and broken baskets.

Shobhita Kansal, who lives in the hostel at Government Home Science College, Sector 10 said, “There have been only two cycles stationed at the Sector 16 dock past few months. Scanning these two bicycles is also a tiring task as the scanner opens and shuts randomly”.

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Awdesh Jindal, a regular bicycle user, said, “It is indeed a very noble initiative. There should be strict actions against vandals. Any damage done to the bicycle should be immediately recovered from them after being traced.All sorts of technical glitches should be timely updated by the company for a smooth and hasle free experience”.

As per a senior official in Smart Bike Tech Private Limited, a Hyderabad based firm given the project 10 years ago on public private partnership (PPP), at least 15 bicycles are being damaged daily and around 400 in a month.

Docking stations of Sectors 22, 53, 43, 55, 39 West, Maloya, Dadu Majra, Ram Darbar, Kaimbwala are the most damaged ones. We are also running the same projects in Chennai and New Delhi where damage numbers are comparatively lower”.

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NP Sharma Chief General Manager Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL) stated, “Network issues, software issues and technical glitches are being worked upon timely by the firm. On our part to protect the project from vandalism, we are seeking UT police’s help on a larger scale. We have written to the SSP to increase patrolling on a list of sensitive areas provided by the firm. It is also the responsibility of the people to use these bicycles carefully and help in making this project a successful one”.

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First published on: 07-07-2022 at 06:36:46 am

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