BMC, MMRDA on the wrong track

In April last year, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan inaugurated the 6 km-long cycling track in BKC built by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), worth Rs 1.05 crore per km. Last week, Mayor Sunil Prabhu inaugurated the Brihanmumbai Mahanagar Palika’s (BMC) 0.6 km-long cycling track worth Rs 3 lakh per kilometre at Andheri Sports Complex.

Today, no one uses the expensive Andheri cycling track, while the MMRDA’s track is full of uneven surfaces, open manholes and pools of accumulated water.

The Cycling track at MMRDA in BKC Bandra. Pic/ Sayed Sameer Abedi

The MMRDA does not maintain the cycling track on which it spent a hefty Rs 6.48 crore.

The BMC initiated the cycling track at Andheri Sports Complex as a pilot project. However, within a week, the BMC has decided that it will extend it to a kilometre in the next three months and will replicate the same at various BMC run complexes in the city. In the future, the BMC will also offer cycle stands with an assurance that the bicycle can be parked there safely at night.

Prabhu said, “We spent nearly Rs 1.5 lakh on the cycling track, which includes building the tracks and colouring it. We plan to extend the track within the next few days and it will be of international standards. The BMC will have a huge track on the periphery of the stadium inside the complex.”

The MMRDA had planned that it would rent out bicycles so people could use the cycle tracks. However, the lukewarm response made the authority shelve the plan. However, many people park their bikes in the MMRDA’s cycle track.

A senior MMRDA official requesting anonymity said, “I will visit the cycle track constructed by the BMC at Andheri Sports complex and comment on whether MMRDA has spent more money on constructing the cycle track.”

On Friday, Sunday MiD DAY visited the cycling track in BKC to check the tracks’ conditions and observed that as more than half of the cycling track was in mess. It appeared that the authorities were only maintaining the track on the main BKC road but the track on the inside roads was in a mess with a slippery surface with pools of accumulated water.

Cyclist Anil Uchil said, “The BMC track at Andheri is safe but the one in BKC appears to be ill-planned. It would have been better if the cycling tracks had been on the arterial roads of Mumbai. BKC is a Central Business District (CBD) — expecting people to cycle makes no sense because it is a business hub.”  

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