Society

Cycles to appear on Pune road to fight traffic blues

A cycle plant at Ludhiana, Punjab. File Photo  

With traffic and parking woes worsening by the day, Pune civic authorities plan to encourage use of bicycles by citizens on a nominal rent.

Approved in principle, the proposal envisages creating cycle stands in different parts of the ever-expanding city, spurring the people to pedal their way for chores that require travelling short distance.

“Once upon a time Pune -- Maharashtra’s cultural capital and seat of education which has now become global IT and auto hubs -- was known as ‘cycle city’ in the country. We want to give a semblance of the old identity back to it to derive manifold benefits that can follow when cycles come back on the roads,” Aba Bagul, Congress leader of the Opposition in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) who piloted the project in the civic body, told PTI.

Traffic jams and bottlenecks have become order of the day in the city, which is bursting at its seams with a population touching five million-mark and an estimated 15-lakh vehicles dotting the streets.

The tender floating process has been initiated by the civic authorities to procure branded cycles which would be painted distinctly to denote their PMC affiliation.

“Those who want to avail of the cycle facility will be asked to fill in a form and will be issued a smart card detailing their names and addresses after a payment of Rs 300 as one time fix deposit. The card holder then can use the cycle for three hours free of charge every day and subsequent hour will cost him Rs 5,” Bagul explained.

The novel scheme, under which the first lot of 2,000 cycles will be introduced on an experimental basis, is being given final shape by a coordination committee comprising Bagul, civic authorities and Pune traffic police branch, and is expected to “hit the road” by November.

The PMC is propagating and promoting the use of cycles with a three-point campaign emphasising on “health exercise, safety factor and fuel conservation” aspects of the cheapest individual transport for covering short distances.

“In due course we intend to increase the number of PMC cycles to one lakh. This will certainly ease the traffic problems in the city where the roads are congested and parking spaces are not sufficient for cars, motorbikes and auto-rickshaws,” Bagul said.

The proposed cycle stands, to be given on annual contract basis to operators by PMC, would be initially set up in the vicinity of colleges, schools, offices and vegetable markets.

The idea is that anyone can take a suitable cycle ride to run an errand and do daily shopping, saving on the precious fuel and contributing to pollution control.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 11:40:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/Cycles-to-appear-on-Pune-road-to-fight-traffic-blues/article15911340.ece

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