The hire-and-ride bicycle project got a nod from political parties in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Wednesday,but the civic body struggles to maintain 117 kms of bicycle track developed as part of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) under JNNURM. Non-motorised transport cell to maintain infrastructure for bicycles is non-operational till date.
The cycle track on Satara Road,Solapur Road,Sinhagad Road,Karve Road,Ganeshkhind Road have been encroached upon by hawkers at various locations with vendors using the track to set up stalls of vegetables,fruits,junk food,clothes,motor repair booth. The cycle tracks on various roads,especially Swargate,are used for parking by autorickshaws and four wheelers.
The cycle tracks have not been used for over two years. It is obvious that the track will be encroached upon if not used for the right purpose, said Congress leader Ulhas Bagul as he pushes for speedier implementation of the programme.
He said there is no doubt that proper infrastructure is needed for promoting use of bicycles but the existing infrastructure cannot be left unused. The problems related to developing more cycle tracks and maintaining the existing one will be automatically catered to once the project is implemented, Bagul said.
Civic officers admitted that a survey has revealed that hawkers,vehicles and beggars are the major encroachers. A dedicated team for the city cannot be formed due to shortage of manpower. The ward offices have been asked to take action if there is failure in duty by the ward officers, he added.
A new concern of lack of proper lighting at night has come up and a special kind of light facility will have to be prepared,an officer said. We have to implement the hire and ride programme carefully after addressing various issues. If the pilot project fails then its implementation will not be possible, an officer said.