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Key part of Smart City project delayed: Bicycle sharing system entangled in red tape in Chandigarh

The plan entails is to have 5,000 bicycles spread across 600 points for free riding.

punjab Updated: Nov 17, 2017 09:37 IST
Hillary Victor
Hillary Victor
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Bicycle sharing system,Chandigarh bicycle system,Chandigarh
New signboards on the Sector 19-27 road, Sukhna Path.(Sanjeev Sharma/HT)

A key part of the Smart City project looks set to be delayed by another two months due to lack of coordination among the civic authorities of the city.

About the project
  • The public bicycle sharing system is a move under the Smart City project; wherein authorities plan to buy 5,000 bicycles fitted with GPRS tracking system for 600 busy points in the city. A control room will monitor the movement.
  • You can take a bicycle from one point and drop it at another nearest to your destination. Sharing points will be in Sector 17, at the Panjab University, Sukhna Lake, Rose Garden, PGIMER, the bus stands and other places.
  • Mysuru was the first city to introduce such a sharing service — popular in some European countries — in February last year.

In a setback to the municipal corporation, the UT administration has raised objections on the public bicycle sharing system, for which the MC has already invited bids through a request for proposal (RFP) and two companies made submissions last month.

The plan entails is to have 5,000 bicycles spread across 600 points for free riding.

While the MC had sought proposals in September, in a recent meeting of the special project vehicle (SPV), Chandigarh Smart City Limited, UT adviser Parimal Rai, who is its chairman, constituted a committee comprising its CEO Jatinder Yadav, UT chief engineer Mukesh Anand and MC chief engineer NP Sharma to finalise terms and conditions.

Journey so far
  • In February this year, MC invited expression of interest for the project and initially it was for 10,000 cycles
  • In March, as many as 10 companies evinced interest
  • On April, seven companies gave presentation, but project did not materialise over terms and conditions
  • In August, Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL) reduced bicycles to 5,000
  • In September, MC invited fresh request for proposal (RFP) for the project; and two companies participate in Oct
  • On November 13, at meeting of board of directors of CSCL, officers raise objections to terms and conditions; new committee formed

Anand told Hindustan Times that there were “some issues” with the terms of the RFP — such as size of the sharing stations to be approved by the UT chief architect, and the duration of the award of project.

The MC has sought bids for an 11-year period, clause 3 of the Advertisement Control Order says such a project could only be allowed for five years, he further said.

MC additional commissioner Anil Garg, who is nodal officer for the Smart City project, confirmed that the committee has been constituted and “will take the final decision on terms and conditions”.

Another senior officer of the SPV said on the condition of anonymity, “Now the project is again delayed by two months as we have invited fresh RFP.”

First Published: Nov 17, 2017 09:16 IST