Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will distribute bicycles under Sabuj Sathi project among the students of class IX in state run, aided and sponsored school in Siliguri on September 21.
Anurag Srivastava, district magistrate Jalpaiguri said that 1000 bicycles would be distributed in the function and altogether 10,000 bicycles would be distributed among the students.
Mamata Banerjee mooted the Sabuj Sathi project and decided to distribute bicycles among the students of classes IX, X, XI and XII of state run, sponsored and aided schools. Under the scheme, forty lakh bicycles were to be given at an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore. The state government has already distributed 25 lakh bicycles among the students of class X, XI and XII. The distribution had to be suspended after the election code of conduct came into force. Banerjee made the logo, which are fixed on the baskets attached to the handle.
After the new government came to power in May, fresh tenders were floated and three firms, Hero, Hercules and Avon were selected. In August, truckload carrying bicycles spares reached the districts. It may be mentioned that over 3500 fitters from all over the country were brought in to fix the spares of 25 lakh bicycles.
Sanjay Thade, principal secretary backward Classes Welfare Development department (BCW) said distribution of bicycles in Coochbehar, north 24 parganas, Murshidabad and east Midnapore would start soon.
The BCW has taken up a unique scheme to train upto 3000 local youths belonging to SC and ST to maintain and repair the bicycles that had been distributed. This will help them to become financially self reliant and 40 bicycles need to be maintained. After the bicycles are distributed the students will be asked to bring them at a stipulated day when their cycles will be given a free service. The BCW has the names of all the students along with the names of their father or guardian, the name of the schools and the date when the cycle was delivered to them in its data bank. Cycles will be distributed among 9.90 lakh students of class IX.
There are two important features of the cycles that will be distributed. Each cycle will have 10 reflectors so that the cycles can be spotted at night by the drivers. Secondly, it was found that the logo had been removed after distribution from many cycles. This time the logo will be embossed on the rear mudguard which cannot be removed.