Hyderabad: To promote and encourage the cycling culture, a network of cycling tracks will soon be crisscrossing the city and the outskirts.
As a first step, seven cycling tracks covering 46 km are to be developed in Khairatabad zone with tracks running to 10 km coming up initially. Not just the tracks but other associated paraphernalia such as signage, road marking, temporary barricading and plug play bollards will dot the entire length.
The initiative which seeks to heavily promote cycling intends to cover a total of 450 km exclusive tracks running through the city, covering the IT corridors and stretching into the outskirts. To be taken up in a phased manner, the areas to be covered include Cyberabad, Hitec City, Kukatpally, Dilsukhnagar, Charminar, Mehdipatnam, Financial district, Hyderabad Knowledge Centre and Kokapet.
Keen on promoting eco-friendly transportation among citizens in major cities, the State government is contemplating best use of ‘India Cycle4Change Challenge (C4C Challenge)’ initiative under Smart Cities Mission of Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Of the 95 cycle friendly cities from across the country that have registered for ‘India Cycle4Change Challenge’, three cities, Hyderabad, Warangal and Karimnagar are from the Telangana.
For effective implementation of C4C Challenge in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), the Hyderabad Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (HUMTA), Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) are providing technical advice and guidance.
In association with the city traffic police, plans are being drawn up for cycle tracks and an action plan in Khairatabad central zone. The available spaces at HMRL stations, TSRTC terminals/depots, MMTS stations are proposed for locating Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) docks to extend first and last mile connectivity.
Experts are of the opinion that post Covid-19 scenario, people would prefer covering short distance trips using cycles for safe transportation.
The C4C Challenge initiative will be implemented in two stages – the first stage coming up with cycle tracks on pilot basis, collecting feedback and creating awareness, to be followed by scaling up of strategies submitted by the 95 cities. The Central Government will then shortlist 11 cities to be taken to stage-2.
The shortlisted 11 cities are to be awarded Rs.1 crore by Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the completion of stage-2 cycle network is expected by May 2021.