The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has finally decided not to revive its much-publicised cycle track project after it was not sure on whether the operations can be carried out smoothly.
The 13km cycle track in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) had remained unused for almost two years since its launch in 2011. Owing to a poor response from office-goers, the MMRDA had in 2013 attempted to revive the project by making cycles available on rent. However, officials have now shelved the plan anticipating problems with its smooth functioning.
“An NGO had come up with a plan to operate cycles in the BKC. However, they could not give us an assurance about smooth operations. So we have decided to scrap it,” said a senior MMRDA official, who requested anonymity.
Interestingly, the MMRDA was supposed to provide 300 cycles free-of-charge, and the NGO would earn revenue through advertisements on the cycles.
According to sources, the past instances of embarrassment apparently demoralised MMRDA officials from taking any risk. In 2011, the project had been severely criticised by activists and media as a waste of public money. They said the cycle track was not used because of poor planning. Harsh climatic conditions were also found to be one of the major reasons behind the poor response from visitors in BKC.
In 2011, MMRDA threw open the 13km cycle track in the G- block of BKC for the public. It cost around Rs6.5 crore. According to sources, MMRDA had not carried out a feasibility study or a necessary survey before going ahead with the project.
At present, these cycle tracks are in a very bad shape because of poor maintenance. The tracks now serve as a roadside parking for visitors.