Nagpur, Chanda to have ‘Streets With Cycle Track’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Jul 2017 09:39:33


Staff Reporter,

Nagpur and Chandrapur from Vidarbha region are among nine cities of Maharashtra chosen by Public Works Department of State Government for implementation of ‘Streets With Cycle Track’ project, on a pilot basis.

The project has been envisaged to reduce vehicular pollution by encouraging the use of bicycles in the cities, and also to reduce traffic congestion. It will be implemented on pilot basis in Nagpur, Chandrapur, Kolhapur, Pune, Solapur, Nashik, Latur, Aurangabad, and Jalgaon cities.

Interestingly, the project will be implemented on the roads under the jurisdiction of Public Works Department (PWD).
For the purpose of implementation of the project, PWD has constituted a State-level committee headed by Additional Director General of Police (Traffic). Secretary (Roads) of PWD will be Member Secretary of the committee that comprises Deepak Atram, Secretary of Mission Olympics, Amravati; and Ravindra Pathak, Member, Mission Olympics, Thane (West) as members.

The said committee has been given the tasks of identifying PWD roads that could be selected for ‘Streets With Cycle Track’ project considering the availability of space and projected growth in number of bicycles on roads, seeking help of experts/institutions to define cycle tracks on identified road portions, and also monitor the project’s implementation. PWD has issued a communication in this regard on Saturday.

The PWD communication points out that there are no separate lanes or bicycle-users on roads in most of the cities in Maharashtra. As a result, despite having willingness to use bicycles for commuting, many people do not find it safe to ride on roads that are used simultaneously by vehicles with varying speeds. Still, labour force that resides in the radiius of mainly seven to eight kilometres from city limits or industrial areas, is forced to use the roads for riding bicycles as that are the cheapest modes of commuting for them. Against these backdrops, and also to reduce vehicular pollution by encouraging use of bicycles for commuting and reducing traffic congestion, PWD has decided to launch the project.

As far as Nagpur city is concerned, already roads in some parts of the city have been marked with ‘bicycle lanes’. The project, conceptualised by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), started with marking the ‘bicycle lane’ in Rani Kothi Square. Though NMC has plans for expanding the project in the entire city, the ‘bicycle lanes’ marked ahead of zebra crossings at traffic junctions are often encroached upon by four-wheelers and two-wheelers.

So far, the project has not met with desired level of success. Besides, in the current phase, with construction of Nagpur Metro Railway route-pillars and cement roads going on simultaneously, ‘bicycle track’ project has gotten deprived of attention, at least, for a while.