PMC proposes bicycle track on 10 routes, plans to expand network
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to revamp the existing bicycle track network in the city and introduce 22 new cycle tracks on various city roads. The civic body this week floated tenders inviting bids to build bicycle tracks on 10 routes including Swargate to Khadakwasla, which will be around 30 kilometres. The 10 streets identified by PMC for laying either new bicycle track or revamping existing ones are part of 22 routes where the civic body plans to build a 100-kilometre-long network of bicycle tracks.
According to city mayor Murlidhar Mohol, due to the lack of political and administrative will, the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) could not be implemented, the bicycle scheme was part of the CMP.
“We had planned to restore around 55 kilometres of the cycle track. However, the PMC had earlier dug roads to lay water pipelines for a 24x7 water supply project as a result of which work on the cycle track was affected. Now the civic body has completed 450 kilometres of water pipeline work, we have decided to restart cycle track work on those roads where PMC has laid pipelines. We have decided to revamp the bicycle scheme and for that, we have decided to propose funds,” said Mohol.
The move comes a year after the public bicycle sharing programme launched in the city hit a deadlock despite initial success due to inadequate infrastructure.
VG Kulkarni, chief superintendent of the PMC road department said, at present, Pune has a network of 100-kilometre bicycle tracks.
“However, most of the tracks need to be redeveloped. In the upcoming budget, we have decided to develop new 25 kilometres of tracks on different roads. We will propose more than ₹20 crore in the budget,” said Kulkarni.
In 2017, PMC prepared a comprehensive bicycle plan and launched a bicycle share scheme in various parts of the city. Pune Smart City Development Company Limited (PSCDCL) took credit and started a share scheme in Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on December 5, 2018. After that, PMC continued the scheme in different parts of the city. After two years, all three private bicycle provider companies had withdrawn from the scheme due to a lack of response of public infrastructure and vandalisation of bicycles.
Swargate to Khadakwasla track along canal road
At present, the civic body has floated a tender to develop a cycle track from Swargate to Khadakwasla (up to Madhuban restaurant near Nanded city where the corporation limit ends). Besides that, the PMC has also proposed a cycle track along the canal from PL Deshpande garden (Sinhagad road) to Fun time multiplex at Wadgaon near Sinhagad road. It is a 4.5-kilometre stretch.
Amar Shinde, executive engineer of road department said, “We have floated the tender of Swargate to Khadakwasla cycle route. Actually, we have given the name Swargate to Khadakwasla. But it is up to PMC limit which finishes before Nanded city. From Swaragate to Rajaram bridge, there is space to develop a cycle track as the civic body had made provision for a track on the footpath. It is around a two-kilometre stretch. We have to revamp and make a dedicated track. From Rajaram bridge to Fun time cinema, there are some road widening problems as well as a proposed flyover, so we are not able to develop the track. We have estimated ₹1.74 crore for a track from Abhiruchi where the flyover starts to Lokmat office.”
Harshad Abhyankar, who was a member of the advisory committee in the Comprehensive Bicycle Plan (CBP), and present member of the non-motorized transport committee said, “There should be a political determination to make Pune a cycle city. We had completed detailed work in the CBP. As per City Mobility plan (CMP), there should be 90 per cent transport focus on non-motorized transport like walking, bicycle and public transport. We should have to develop footpaths, road crossing and cycle tracks on priority. At present, the cycle is not on priority as compared to fly over and other motorized transport systems. As per CBP, PMC should have to develop an 800 kilometre (both side of roads) cycle track with a total length of 400 kilometres. In the last three years, the corporation has developed around 25 kilometres of the cycle track.”