Free cycles for commuters? Earlier proposals achieved little success

Be it the lack of promotion or residents’ lack of interest or the high rent, the project of giving cycles on rent has failed to draw crowd.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Updated: November 2, 2015 12:25:43 pm
Chandigarh cycle rent, chandigarh cycle scheme, chandigarh cycling, chandigarh news, india news Vehicles encroach upon a pedestrian way at the GMCH roundabout in Sector 32, Chandigarh. (Source: Express photo)

The Municipal Corporation has recently decided to introduce the concept of providing free cycles at several locations for commuting within the city. However, similar proposals mooted in the past have not met with much success.

Be it the lack of promotion or residents’ lack of interest or the high rent, the project of giving cycles on rent has failed to draw crowd. In 2003, the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) and NGO Yuvsatta had made cycles available. These included six bicycles at the Sukhna Lake, another 12 at the Sector 17 bus stand while 20 of these could be availed from Karuna Sadan in Sector 11. While the rental was Rs 50 for half day, it was Rs 100 for the entire day.

Pramod, who runs NGO Yuvsatta, says, “This project was carried out half-heartedly. It was never started with full zeal by the administration. Had it been started with a bang, people would have come forward.”
He adds, “These people talk of smart cities and introducing cycles for commuters but things will fail if every official does not join hands to make people aware. They have to make it a kind of movement in the city.”

Managing director of the CITCO Kavita Singh says, “There is a need to popularise the availability of cycles and we are doing that. We have a special helpline for that and cycles are available at a reasonable cost.”

“The administration hasn’t made much effort to make tourists aware of the availability of the cycles. Frequent advertisements will make tourists as well as city residents aware of the facility,” says Ritika Bassi, a visitor to the Sukhna Lake.

As per the current proposal, on a pilot basis, 150 cycles will be given free of cost at busy points in the city. Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation, Mukesh Anand says, “Our aim is to promote cycles so that people not only save on fuel but also gain in terms of health. The cycles will decrease parking congestion as well.”

The engineering wing in collaboration with Hero Cycles has planned to introduce 20 cycles on each point in Sector 17, Panjab University and Sukhna Lake. The cycle points are being identified on the route — from Sector 14, to sectors 15, 16, 17 and then to sectors 2 and 3.

According to terms and conditions of the project, an identity proof will be taken from the person and proper security arrangements will be made to avoid damage or theft to the cycles.

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