The dedicated tracks for movement of bicycles in the Odisha Capital developed by the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited under Go Green initiative seem to have failed to yield any desired result and lying largely unused.
A 6.2 kilometre long track developed between Patia Square and KIIT (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology) via Infocity has been barricaded for smooth movement of bicycles. However, no cyclist is seen pedalling through the stretch.
The apparent reason why cyclists prefer not to use the track is the small concrete obstructers which have been constructed in every 50 metres throughout the track in a bid to prevent movement of vehicles. Cyclists have to get down frequently for passing through the obstructers.
The 4.8 kilometre bicycle track between Vani Vihar Square and Sishu Bhawan Square tells a similar tale. In the absence of use, some of the bicycle tracks in the city have turned parking space for vehicles while street vendors are having a field day in some other places.
Rajanikanta Sahu, a bicyclist said, “Hurdles have been erected on the tracks in close intervals preventing smooth movement of bicycles. The gap among the hurdles is very narrow and not sufficient for a cyclist to pass through. The width of road also narrowed down due to the construction of the track. We are unable to ride bicycles on the road due to movement of vehicles.”
Niranjan Behera, a street vendor, said, “The track is meant for bicycle, but we never saw any cyclist taking the route. Had there been regular movement of bicycles, we would not have put our trolley on the track.”
In 2018, the Smart City authorities had launched Mo Cycle scheme in the Capital City in a bid to encourage the habit of cycling among the city dwellers and make the city pollution free. However, most of the bicycles procured under the scheme ended up in the scrap yard in the past three years.
Town planner Piyush Rout said, “People are not using the pedestrian track or cycle track. These schemes only serve the purpose of parking now. There are technical faults in the implementation of the project.”
Senior journalist Rabi Ray said, “No one is using the bicycles under the Mo Cycle scheme as well as the track developed by the Smart City authorities. These schemes are nothing but the means to swindle money.”