Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) will provide space for bicycle kiosks at 63 of its 66 proposed stations. While usage is likely to be free, maintenance at the bicycle stations could be handed over to a private partner under the public-private partnership mode.

HMR managing director N.V.S. Reddy said 350 bicycles were provided free to the first such station at Gachibowli, where an exclusive women’s cycling event was held on Saturday as part of International Women’s Day. Former Chief Secretary and member, Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Minnie Mathew emphasised on the need to make cities safe for women, so that they could move about freely and compete with men in all spheres of activity.

Continuous monitoring

Mr. Reddy outlined the initiatives being taken to make the project comfortable and safe for women – continuous monitoring, policing, illumination etc. Under ‘Nirbhaya’ commute, Madhuranagar station would be transformed into a women-oriented Taruni, with women-centric shops.

Shipra Chenji, who completed the 10 km race in 22 minutes, was declared the winner.

Sashivadhana Reddy and Srilatha Shankar stood second and third respectively. Special prizes were announced for differently-abled Kiran Kanojia, and the youngest participants 9-year-old Tamanna and 10-year-old Diksha and the senior-most participant Kavitha Perera.

Hyderabad Bicycle Club chairman D.V. Manohar said 1,500 of its 4,000 members were women. CII vice-president Vinita Datla, women entrepreneurs Suchitra Yella and Sarvamangalam, L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad CEO V.B. Gadgil took part.

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