The city will soon embark upon public bicycle hub projects to help promote green mode of non-motorized transport.
BHUBANESWAR: The city will soon embark upon public bicycle hub projects to help promote green mode of non-motorized transport.
With the citizens giving top priority to public mobility in the run up to getting the smart city tag, the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL), the implementing agency of the smart city, will create 50 bicycle stations at select locations across the city, with technical assistance from Germany.
Sources linked to the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) have said that around 1,000 bicycles will be kept at 50 locations, enabling riders to hire them. “Each bicycle will have an unique barcoded number for identification. People will have to submit their identity proofs to rent bicycle after payment of a nominal fee, which is yet to be decided,” said an officer of the BDA.
“If a bicycle is hired from a particular hub, it can be returned at any of the 50 hubs. The public sharing of bicycle has been popular in several European countries. In Odisha too, this is prevalent in Berhampur and Puri, where daily commuters take bicycles on rent and return them to the vendors after using them,” said city-based town planner, Piyush Rout.
According to the BDA, Germany will provide technical guidance to create 120-km-long dedicated cycle tracks in the city for smooth ride. “We need to have dedicated corridors so that cyclists are not obstructed by vehicular traffic. The city must be bicycle-friendly to promote green mode of transport, which is one of the priorities of the smart city development,” said senior architect and town planner Sanjib Guru.
Also in the offing under smart city mission is the introduction of e-rickshaw. Battery-run rickshaws will ply on city roads to help commuters travelling short distances within the city. According to the plan, there will be battery charging points on the routes at several places for the e-rickshaws, said a BDA spokesperson.
The city has barely 10.5 km of cycle track on major arterial roads. Even those tracks have also been encroached upon by street vendors. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) aims to build 37 km cycle track in future by restoring the existing ones and creating new tracks. The BMC recently discussed a plan to create dedicated bicycle tracks on either side of some of the natural drainage channels here.
“The city has 10 natural drainage channels and two of them are suitable for developing cycle tracks along it. The BMC is exploring the scope to create cycle track alongside them. This was discussed on Monday at a high-level meeting on the preparation of a master plan to streamline drainage system of the city,” said a BMC source.