Cycle stands gather dust as Rent A Cycle initiative of Thane civic body has few takers
February 26, 2022
The white and purple cycle stand at Samata Nagar footpath is now merely a faded picture of the much-touted Rent A Cycle initiative of the Thane Municipal Corporation; the stand has merely four cycles covered in dust while the purple colour has faded; The cycles are damaged while the stand is also in a poor condition with no takers.
The white and purple cycle stand at Samata Nagar footpath is now merely a faded picture of the much-touted ‘Rent a Cycle’ initiative of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).
The stand has merely four cycles covered in dust while the purple colour has faded. The cycles are damaged while the stand is also in a poor condition with no takers. A similar scene is witnessed at all the other cycle stands under this initiative.
TMC had started this initiative in 2017, wherein residents could rent a cycle through a mobile application. One hundred cycles from Japan were imported for the purpose. Residents could take the cycle from the stand nearest to their homes and drop it at the stand nearest to their destination for a nominal rent. The initiative had around 1,500 people who had registered for it till January 2019.
The budget for the said project was ₹22 lakh. The space to set up cycle stands was given at 50 places to a private contractor. However, only eight stands were built. Each of these stands has merely three or four cycles left so far.
At Khewra Circle, two floors in a civic building were also provided to the private contractor. Around ₹17.50 lakh was spent to purchase 500 cycles. Currently, less than 20 cycles are seen overall in the city.
Moreover, these cycles were not of good quality, according to cyclists, and all the cycles were of the same size, making it difficult for everyone to use it. “One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to cycles. Also, it was not clear as to which category the cycles were catering to. As it required downloading a mobile application and transferring a nominal amount through the app, those who were able to do all these could easily afford a vehicle of their own,” said Devesh Aggarwal, a cyclist from Epic Riders Group.
Thane city does not have any cycle track or a special lane. “We need to start with the basics first. The habit should be inculcated among children. There are hardly a few schools that provide spots to park and lock cycles in the city. For those who own a cycle, it is difficult to use it unless public parking spaces have such provisions to park. Even a basic facility like fitting the covers of manholes in such a manner that it is convenient for cyclists was not implemented when the new Kopri Bridge was inaugurated recently,” added Aggarwal.
As Thane city is connected to Bhiwandi warehouses and JNPT as well, there are many heavy vehicles that access the roads within Thane. Hence, it is essential to provide separate cycle or two-wheeler routes at highways and prominent roads.
“Thane city has more population traveling outside the city on a regular basis. As the ‘Rent a Cycle’ facility is within Thane premises only, it could be one of the reasons that we have fewer takers for the cycle stands. We need to first understand the target group of cyclists in the city before making provisions for non-motorised roads. We shall soon provide separate cycle tracks and routes but it will happen only in a phased manner,” said Vipin Sharma, commissioner, TMC.
Source : www.hindustantimes.com
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