A speeding car severely injuring environmental activist- Sunita Narain, who was cycling in Delhi, brought to fore a cruel truth- even well-planned Indian cities like Noida have no space for cyclists or pedestrians.
Nearly 4 months ago, Ruma Chatopadhyay, 50, India's junior national team coach with the cycling federation of India (CFI), had died in an accident on Noida Expressway when she was cycling with her group in June.
You are mistaken if you think the Noida authority has not thought of earmarking space for cyclists and pedestrians in this well-planned city.
With R 20 crore budget, the Noida authority had constructed cycle tracks along both sides of city's two arterial roads- master plan-I and II roads, around a stadium, along some part of Noida Expressway and in some other parts.
But the money meant for cycle track went waste, because these tracks are out of bounds, not only to cyclists, but also to the pedestrians.
“Building owners park their vehicles on cycle track and walkways built on two major roads- master plan-I and master plan-II road. As a result, investing tax payers’ money on building this track went completely waste,” said Anuj Gupta a cyclists and resident of sector 62.
The cycle track built along master plan road-I beginning from Rajnigandha chowk to sector 12, is massively encroached upon and not fit to cycle or walk says cyclists.
“Vendors and shopkeepers in sector 9 have encroached upon the cycle track. Forget cycling, even pedestrians are unable to use it,” said Mahesh Tyagi a cycling enthusiast and software professional.
The authority had claimed that cycle track is need of the hour because heavy traffic ply on roads does not leave space for pedestrians, and cyclists.
“Cyclists and pedestrians are being pushed out from city roads by cars and other heavy vehicles. City planners and enforcement officials do not have time to ensure a free passage to both cyclists and pedestrians, who do not contribute to pollution unlike automobiles. We talk of eco-friendly mode of transport but edges out people, who use them,” said Neeraj Kumar another cycle enthusiast and a resident of sector 12.
“We will remove the encroachment done on the cycle track, and ensure that cyclists and pedestrians can use it,” said Rajesh Prakash deputy chief executive officer (DCEO), Noida authority.