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After much soft-pedalling, PMC to gift bicycles to schoolkids

Civic body says the scheme -- that was announced in 2012, and was stuck in paperwork so far -- is likely to be implemented in the next two months

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is about to set the wheels in motion so over two and a half thousand students from civic schools can get bicycles by the beginning of the next academic year. The plan was announced in 2012, and tenderingprocess was completed next year. Now, the beneficiaries can expect their rides by the beginning of the new academic year.

Conditions Apply: The bicycles will be provided to those students of Std VII-X, whose homes are more than  2 kilometres away from their respective PMC schools. Representation Pic
Conditions Apply: The bicycles will be provided to those students of Std VII-X, whose homes are more than  2 kilometres away from their respective PMC schools. Representation Pic

“The scheme of distributing bicycles to high school students could not begin last year, as the tendering process had not got any response. However, in re-tendering we have selected an official distributor of Hero, based in Mumbai, and if all goes well, students will receive the bicycles in the next two months,” said Srinivas Kandul, superintending engineer of PMC (central storeroom).

Pedal power: 2,522 students (1,311 boys and 1,211 girls) will receive bicycles in the first phase. Representation pics
Pedal power: 2,522 students (1,311 boys and 1,211 girls) will receive bicycles in the first phase. Representation pics

To promote cycling culture among students, the vehicles will be provided to kids studying in standard VII-X. However, only those students whose homes are more than two kilometres away from their schools are eligible.

“The proposal for this project is coming for approval before the standing committee on Tuesday, and once it gets sanction, we can immediately place a work order to the company,” Kandul told MiD DAY.

The bicycle distributor selected by PMC has assured that all the important parts like tyres, tubes and chains will be ISI marked and, to avoid any malpractices, all the materials in the 2,522 bicycles will directly come to Pune from Hero’s manufacturing plant in Ludhiana. PMC has reserved Rs 1 crore for this project, and is paying Rs 3,520 per cycle.

“Once we place work order, we can expect equipment in the next three weeks. We have already identified four PMC schools where we are going to assemble all the cycles,” Kandul added.

The civic body runs 25 high schools in the city having 11,090 students on the rolls. However, according to PMC education officials, the scrutiny of 2,522 students (1,311 boys and 1,211 girls), who will receive bicycles in the first phase, has already been done.  

Phasing in

“Even though the actual beneficiaries are many, some criteria have to be adhered to. Those students who have free bus passes as well as those residing within two kilometres from their schools will not be entitled to the scheme. We have already interacted with schools and received the list of potential beneficiaries. Also, right now only students from class VII to class X will get cycles. The remaining students may receive the benefit in the next phase,” said Meenakshi Raut, PMC education officer (secondary). There are sceptics. DS Bhandvalkar, principal of PMC’s Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan School, Dapodi, said, “It was just an announcement, as I have not heard of any development in the project of distributing bicycles. Months ago, I had submitted the list of eligible students from my school, who were supposed to receive bicycles through this scheme.”

Rs 1 crore - The amount earmarked for the project by the Pune Municipal Corporation

2,522 - No of bicycles to be distributed in phase I

 

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