Karnataka

Quality of cycles found ‘satisfactory’

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Inquiry was initiated following complaints of poor standard of bicycles distributed free to students

About a month after the Department of Primary and Secondary Education stopped the distribution of bicycles to class 8 students in the current academic year, a departmental inquiry has found the quality of cycles to be “largely satisfactory”.

The Department of Public Instruction, on Wednesday, submitted a report to the State government stating that a majority of the reports that they have collected have found the quality of cycles to be largely satisfactory. The department is now awaiting directions from the State government to decide whether the process of distribution of cycles should recommence.

The department had halted their distribution last month following directions from the Chief Minister, who had received complaints regarding the quality of the cycles. This year, around 4.11 lakh of the total 5.04 lakh cycles have been distributed to class eight students in rural areas under a scheme that was started in 2006-07, when B.S. Yeddyurappa was the Chief Minister. However, around 93,000 students are still to get their cycles after the distribution was stopped.

Following this, the department had initiated an internal inquiry and asked officials to submit a report after carrying out visual tests and random checks at the school level. “We have received reports from 23 districts and all of them state that the quality of cycles is satisfactory. We have, however, received some complaints regarding the fitting and assembling of the bicycles,” an official in the department said.

The R&D Centre For Bicycle and Sewing Machine in Ludhiana has already assessed the quality of the cycles and had stated that according to preliminary reports, the bicycles tested were found as per standards.

The department had ordered that officials should carefully examine if around 20 parts mentioned in the checklist had any problems.

“We have received complaints in some places that the side stand, bell, or chain were not fixed properly, or the reflector was missing,” the official said.

The cost of a cycle for boys is ₹3,457 and for girls it is ₹3,674.

The total cost of the scheme for this academic year is ₹180 crore. This is a 5% escalation from the previous academic year. As many as four companies were given the work order for supply of the cycles.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:40:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/quality-of-cycles-found-satisfactory/article25844430.ece

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