MMRDA's plan to save cycle track: provide cycles on rent
Authorities have invited tenders for the installation of cycle stands as well as the provision of cycles; RTI activists discourage move as the track is in a poor condition and no one uses it
Officials from Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) aren’t giving up on the 13-km cycling track project at G Block in BKC. After it was revealed that the MMRDA had wasted funds on the project without doing a feasibility survey (‘RTI: No survey done for Rs 6.5-cr BKC cycle track’, January 2, 2012), authorities are now inviting tenders to install street furniture, which will also include providing cycle stands and bicycles of international standards for the public.
The plan has, however, not been welcomed by RTI activists who feel that funds have already been wasted on the track and the new tender will only add to the cost. Many feel that no one uses the track and even if cycles are rented out free of cost, the track would not be utilised. It should be noted, however, that the bidder who will install the furniture at the track will be renting out the cycles.
Explaining why he opposed the move, RTI activist Anil Galgali, chairman of NGO Athak Seva Sangh, said, “In reply to an RTI filed by me, the MMRDA has already accepted that the Rs 6.48 crore project was carried out without a proper survey. At present, the cycling track in some spots is in such a poor condition that a person cannot even walk properly on it. There are many MMRDA officials who stay in BKC. They should first use this uneven and pathetic cycle track and then expect the public to use it.”
When MiD DAY spoke to officials, they said that the move was to encourage cycling in the city. Metropolitan Commissioner UPS Madan said, “In the bid, we have mentioned that the bidder will also have to provide cycles of international standards because we want to promote cycling in BKC. If we rent out cycles in BKC then I am confident that more people will use the cycle track.” When this paper raised the issue of the poor condition of the track, he added, “As no one is using the cycle track, it might be in a bad shape at some places but we will make sure that it is properly maintained so that cyclists can use it.”
Last week, MMRDA officials invited global bids for the erection of street furniture in BKC on design, build, operate, maintain and transfer (DBOMT) basis. MMRDA has plans to undertake erection of state of art street furniture in E, G and G-N Blocks of BKC. The bidder will have to provide items like benches, litter bins, information boards, direction boards, multipurpose booths, flag poles, vending kiosks, public convenience, bus queue shelters, tree guards, bicycle stands and bicycles of international standards.
London Cycle Hire Scheme
Barclays Cycle Hire is a public bicycle-sharing scheme in London. The scheme’s bicycles are popularly known as Boris Bikes, after Boris Johnson, the mayor of London. There are more than 8,000 bikes at 570 locations across London. More than 17 million journeys have been made on the bikes since the scheme’s launch in 2010. One can hire a cycle and once done with, can drop the bike back to one of the many docking stations across London.