Tribune News Service
Shimla, September 24
Some good news for cycle lovers of the city. Cycles will soon start running on three stretches of the city – CTO to Summerhill, Chotta Shimla to Shimla Club and Sanjauli to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMC) – under a bicycle sharing scheme.
The financial bids for this Smart City project were opened on Wednesday and a Bengaluru firm has been shortlisted for providing the service. “The project will be awarded to this Bengaluru firm in the first week of next month, following which the company could start building the required infrastructure,” said Nitin Garg, GM (Technical), Shimla Smart City. “The company is already running this service in cities like Bengaluru, Panchkula, etc.”
Garg said the company would handle the operational part of the project. “Providing cycles, building docks, maintenance and manpower will be the company’s responsibility. And they will be paid Rs 1.31 lakh per cycle for a period of six years,” said Garg.
To begin with, the company will deploy 150 cycles (with gear and gearless) on these three stretches. However, the number of cycles could be increased if people respond positively. Given that the selected stretches are on sealed roads — vehicular movement is restrictive on these stretches — the service will turn out to be quite beneficial for people.
“A one-sided trip will cost around Rs 5. The whole idea is to get more people into cycling. It’s a pollution free and healthy way to commute and we hope people will enjoy the ride,” said Garg.
In the times of the pandemic, craze for cycling has already grown tremendously in the city – cycle vendors are claiming 300 per cent rise in the sales of cycles. With interest in cycling already at an all-time high, this Smart City project couldn’t have come at a better time.
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