Chandigarh admn fails to spread bicycles-on-rent concept, cycles fall prey to rust | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh admn fails to spread bicycles-on-rent concept, cycles fall prey to rust

UT administration is in the process of finalising the company to introduce public bicycle sharing system wherein it is planning to buy 10,000 cycles for 600 busy points in the city under Smart City project.

punjab Updated: May 05, 2017 13:29 IST
Hillary Victor
Cycles available on rent at Sukhna Lake.
Cycles available on rent at Sukhna Lake.(Keshav Singh/HT Photo)

Even though to encourage cycling among city residents, UT administration rolled out the concept of bicycleson-rent twice in the past one decade, its efforts have failed to bear any fruit. Interestingly, once again, UT administration is in the process of finalising the company to introduce public bicycle sharing system wherein it is planning to buy 10,000 cycles for 600 busy points in the city under Smart City project.

REALITY CHECK

HT conducted a reality check at Sukhna Lake and found that there were eight cycles lying under a shed, with some of them succumbing to rust. Even at Shivalik Hotel in Sector 17, the person concerned said, “Though we have four cycles, they are not functional. Similarly, at Hotel Mountview, there used to be around five cycles, but not anymore.

Speaking to HT, one of the officials at Sukhna Lake said, “The concept has completely failed as only foreign tourists come thrice a month and take the bicycles, otherwise local residents are least interested. Out of 13 cycles that we have, only eight bicycles are in working condition. Moreover, some of the takers want to ride at the lake, which we do not allow.”

THE CONCEPT, THE RESPONSE

The concept entails a public bicycle system or bike rental scheme, wherein bicycles are made available on rent for individual use on a short-term basis at a very lost cost. This allows the same bicycle to be used by several users a day.

It was in 2006 when UT administration started renting out cycles for ₹100 per day and ₹50 for half a day, but there were no takers and the concept vanished within a year. Again, in 2016, Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) had roll out the concept under which one can rent a cycle for ₹200 per day, by submitting a refundable security of ₹2,000 and original identity card, but the concept failed to gain momentum. The administration is carrying forward this concept this year as well.

TEACHERS LEAD BY EXAMPLES
  • Pradeep Bhagat, principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, Sector 12, who has been coming to the college on cycle since the past two decades, says, “It is good for health as well as environment. The authorities need to popularise the concept and should lead by example by using the service once or twice a month. They should also encourage their officials to use cycles to come to offices. UT should maintain the cycle tracks properly.”
  • Ronki Ram, professor, department of political science, PU, who has been commuting on a cycle since 1976, says, “There is less distance within the campus so why to use vehicles on the campus. UT administration failed to popularise the concept and people also do not feel safe while riding a cycle due to faulty cycle tracks. Experts should be invited to find the solutions for cyclist safety in the city.“

TO GIVE CONTRACT FOR 10,000 CYCLES FOR NEXT MONTH

With a move to promote use of bicycle and to use alternative transport system, Chandigarh smart city limited (CSCL) has initiated the project to introduce public bicycle sharing system.

The authorities have planned to buy 10,000 bicycles for 600 busy points in the city, sector 17 plaza, Panjab University, Sukhna lake, Rose garden, PGIMER and bus stand. The residents will be commuting from one point to another by cycles, which will be fitted with tracking system. A control room will be set up to check the movement of the cycles.

Mysuru City Corporation introduced India’s first public bicycle sharing service last year in February.

WHAT THEY SAY

Kavita Singh, managing director, CITCO, says, “We are trying our level best to promote cycling in the city, but I feel that there is no interconnected system wherein one can park the cycles and go. Now, they have to go back to Sukhna Lake to return their bike. As far as awareness is concerned, we are doing it from time to time, but still we do not understand why people are not coming forward. We have a special helpline for that and cycles are available at a reasonable cost.”

Surinder Bahga, an architect from Chandigarh, says, “It is very risky to ride cycles in the city as cycle tracks are poorly maintained. Moreover, the authorities concerned completely failed to popularise the concept. Most of the students are not aware of the concept and the rental is very high for them to bear.”