Has the much-hyped public cycle sharing scheme ‘Mo Cycle’ in the capital city of Bhubaneswar failed completely?
While hundreds of unused cycles rotting along the roads give testament to the failure of the scheme, alleged selling of the cycles at throwaway prices has also raised serious questions.
According to sources, many bicycles procured under the 'Mo Cycle' scheme have been sold at Rs 500 per piece to a scrap dealer in Patrapada on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
Workers at the scrap godown were seen cutting the cycles, most of them in working condition, into pieces in order to sell them as scrap metal. The scrap dealer reportedly purchased 250 cyclones from Hero Youon, which manages the Hexi cycles.
The scrap dealer, Sheikh Azizullahek said he has been asked to remove the GPS trackers from bicycles and hand them over to the company and sell the rest part of the bicycles as scrap.
“The cycles were apparently lying idle and eating up space along roads for which the authorities sold them to us. My son has bought these cycles. As per my knowledge, it cost us Rs 500 per piece,” Azizullahek said.
However, selling of the bicycles at a throwaway price did not go down well with the residents in the city who blamed the civic authorities for the failure of the project.
Kartik Pradhan, a Bhubaneswar resident said, “Thousands of bicycles were sold and are now rotting along the roads. Crores of rupees were spent to make special tracks for plying of the cycles. Besides, crores of rupees were spent for procuring the cycles. Now, unfortunately the cycles are being auctioned and sold at throughway price.”
The ‘Mo Cycle’ scheme was launched in the smart city on November 26, 2018 during the Men’s Hockey World Cup to boost public transport.
The bicycles were procured from three companies namely Hexi, Yaana and Yulu for five years at a cost of Rs 25,000 per cycle.
Suryakant Dalabehera, the operation manager of Hexi said, “We had supplied 1000 cycles as per the agreement with BMC. Later, 400 more cycles were added due to increase in demand. We have decided to collect necessary gadgets from the damaged bicycles and sell the remaining parts to scrap dealers.”