Mumbai

BMC kickstarts cycling track revival

Offers ₹3.5 lakh to interested party; track to run only up to Chowpatty

After its ambitious Sunday cycling track at Marine Drive was shut down unceremoniously last month, the Brihanamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now willing to pay to revive it.

On Wednesday it invited interested agencies to maintain the track at a cost of ₹3.5 lakh per Sunday. The appointed agency will have to iron out several difficulties faced last time. The track was Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray’s brainchild.

The BMC had announced its weekend cycle track from NCPA to the Worli end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in December. The 11.5-km track was to have gone through Marine Drive, Babulnath, Peddar Road and Annie Besant Road right up to the Sea Link. It was to be free for users as an agency had been appointed for its maintenance.

Enthusiasts could get their own bicycles or rent one from kiosks for ₹100 per hour. The track was to be open every Sunday and on certain Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. An inauguration was done in December by Mr. Thackeray, the municipal commissioner and police commissioner.

The project ran into trouble in the very beginning as the track never ran its entire length. It ran only for about 4.5 km from NCPA to Girgaum Chowpatty as the agency could not secure permission from the traffic police for the rest of the portion. The track was not operational on some Sundays due to VIP movement among other things. In addition, the traffic police had complained of the quality of bollards and objected to advertisements on the track.

The agency’s contract was over in March-end following which there has been no agency for the past few weeks. The corporation on Wednesday issued an advertisement inviting interested agencies to maintain the track. The advertisement mentions that BMC will pay up to ₹3.5 lakh to the selected agency.

“We wanted more agencies to come forward so that the best can be selected. As per the new agreement, the agency will bring its own towing vans, staffers, bollards as specified by the BMC to maintain the track. It will be the agency’s job to follow the norms set by the traffic police,” said Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, A Ward. However, the track will still run only up to Chowpatty as the civic body does not have the requisite permissions to extend it to Worli. Interested agencies have time till April 21 to apply. The contract will last till the monsoon.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 9:30:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/bmc-kickstarts-cycling-track-revival/article23607958.ece

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