This Ganeshotsav, pedal your way to pandals
Residents of Navi Mumbai and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) nodes have decided to make use of the recently launched rent-a-cycle and scooter facility to check out the various Ganpati pandals in the area. This way, they are hopeful of avoiding traffic congestion that typically increases during the festive season.
The ten-day Ganpati festival will start from Monday and people have already made their lists of pandals to visit in Navi Mumbai, Thane, and Mumbai. This year, some visitors are gearing up to use the cycle facility to go pandal-hopping. The operators too are working on options to offer festive discounts so that a maximum number of people use the facility.
Deepak Sharma, operations manager, Yulu Cycles Mumbai, said, “We know that during the festival many people would look forward to using the cycle facility. We are working on a discount which will be conveyed to the users in a day or two.”
DS Chabukswar, deputy municipal commissioner, zone 2, NMMC, said, “We have spoken to the operators and have asked them to increase the number of cycles if the need arises.”
Cidco officials too have asked operators to add to their cycle collection at Kharghar, near Utsav Chowk, and in Sector 15.
“My friends and I have chalked out a plan to go on pandal-hopping. As we will be using cycles we are sure to skip the traffic,” said Dinesh Pujary, 32, a Kharghar resident. “Using a bike or car for pandal-hopping is not a good idea as we get stuck in traffic which also increases carbon emissions. With a cycle, we at least contribute to the environment,” said Pujary.
The famous pandals at Tapal Naka, Gujrati school and Shivaji Chowk at Panvel are in congested areas. It would be easy for visitors to maneuver through the congestion using cycles.
“I have used the cycle facility on many occasions and it has been a pleasant experience. My friends and I have planned to hire a e-scooters and cycles to ensure stress-free pandal-hooping. Not only in Navi Mumbai, but we also plan to go to Mumbai on cycles,” said Shreyansh Adhikari, 29, a Nerul resident.
The rent-a-cycle facility was introduced in Kharghar in November 2018 and in the Kharghar node of Cidco in June this year. The facility received an overwhelming response from users, mostly during weekends.
Using the cycle for pandal-hopping also solves the issue of parking as it is difficult to get a space to park cars and motorbikes in the congested areas.
“Pedalling to pandals is our way of celebrating an eco-friendly Ganpati festival,” said Shivangi, Jha, 25, a Belapur resident.
There are 1,000 cycles operational in Navi Mumbai and 70 cycles in the Cidco nodes.
More than 1,000 police officers will be at work on the main days of the festival, said a senior officer. The police said volunteers have been trained to handle crowds.