Schoolchildren, citizens and officials of West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) will take part in a cycle rally to create awareness among people regarding usage of this eco-friendly and healthy transport on a stretch of the country's first graded cycle path, which is coming up in New Town.
Once completed, New Town will have graded cycle tracks, the designs of which have been made by IIT experts. HIDCO also proposes to introduce public cycle sharing scheme where a person can hire a good quality cycle from the stands, visit the choice of places and then can deposit the cycle back making necessary payments. The fees of the same will be determined soon.
Professor Debapratim Pandit of IIT Kharagpur, along with his students, has conducted a survey of cycle sharing system. The cycles will be fitted with GPS.
Debashis Sen, chairman of HIDCO, and other senior officials will take part in the rally and cycle on January 26.
It may be recalled that Borris Johnson, secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs, during his meeting with Chief Minister had requested her to set up graded cycle track.
Pankaj Munjal, CMD, Hero Motors group, who announced the setting up of a cycle manufacturing factory in Bengal, said a study by international experts had revealed that the use of cycles in India was extremely low but the country had tremendous potential in the use of cycles.
Globally, the popularity of cycles is only rising. Like other metros, Kolkata has several cycle clubs where enthusiasts take part in long distance cycling. Some cycle enthusiasts gather near Eco Park every Sunday morning and take part in long distance cycling. Doctors say cycling is a good way to reduce obesity and helps to stay fit.
Two areas have been chosen to set up paved footpath and cycle tracks with occasional street furniture.
The first one is in Action Area IA from first rotary or bus terminus to Box Bridge and the second one between gate number one and four near Eco Park.
There will be cycle tracks and footpaths with vegetation in between. The cycle tracks and footpath will merge with house level lanes by a sloping ramp rather than a sharp step so that cycles and wheel chairs have no difficulty. Signage, lights and road markings will be done shortly.