Bhubaneswar All Set To Take Up Cycles4Change Challenge Through ‘Cyclegiri’
Bhubaneswar: In view of COVID-19 pandemic and to promote the cycling in the State capital, the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) in association with the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is going to host ‘Cycles4Change’ campaign on October 09 (Friday) to make Bhubaneswar one of the most prominent bicycle-friendly cities of India by encouraging the citizens to cycle – be it to their workplace or for rejuvenation purposes, and promote the culture of cycling in the city.
The challenge aims to help the City Administration to connect with the citizens, cycle enthusiasts as well as experts to develop a unified vision and initiatives to promote cycling as a mode of transport among one and all.
Bhubaneswar is one of the 95 cities to have registered for the India Cycles4Change Challenge, which is an initiative of Smart Cities Mission of the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
As part of the campaign, a cycle rally called ‘Cyclegiri – Respect4Cyclists’ will be organized at Ekamra Plaza Janpath, near Sishubhavan Square at 6.30 AM on Friday, which will culminate at Dhauli, a stretch of around 12 kms.
Through this programme, the City Administration urges everyone to embrace cycling as a mode of transport in their daily life and give respect to cyclists on roads as these small efforts will eventually help the city becoming cleaner and greener.
Shri Prem Chandra Chaudhary, BMC Commissioner-cum-Chief Executive Officer, Bhubaneswar Smart City Ltd, said that through this challenge, the registered cities will implement quick interventions to create a safe and cycling-friendly city through community participation.
“We have accepted the Cycles4Change challenge to promote cycling in Bhubaneswar by arranging a c. We are working on creating small cycle paths or loops in residential areas to help the citizens in doing their daily activities like going to market, offices on cycles. Above anything else, we want to promote healthy lifestyle among the citizens by encouraging them to take to cycling,” said Chaudhary.
The Commissioner further said that: “We are trying and working on some aspects to ensure that the cyclists get respect and acknowledgement from society. Truck, bus and car drivers will take a pledge on how to let a cyclist feel safe on road while appearing for the driving license test.”
“To ensure this transformation, Bhubaneswar is committed to working with its citizens as it develops and implements the proposals. Community engagement is a key component of the initiative, and with the support of citizens, this initiative will be a success,” Chaudhary added.
He said that interested citizens can volunteer and mobilise volunteers for the initiatives, spread the word through social networking platforms and in their communities.
During the event, dedicated cycle routes in the city will be announced, cyclegiri anthem song will be launched and a pledge to be taken by truck, bus and auto associations will be declared.
Let’s Respect Cyclists:
Cyclists too deserve the same respect and acknowledgement on roads like people do for bikers and car drivers. Therefore, the City Authority will carry out extensive awareness programmes for different groups such as bus, truck and taxi owners’ associations, driving training schools and driving license centres to ensure cyclists feel safe and respected while pedaling on roads.
As stakeholder engagement and community participation is the key to bring a behavioral change, and to promote cycling in any city, the City Administration has lined up some innovative programmes for Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), NGOs, professional cyclist groups and civil society members in every week to promote cycling in Bhubaneswar.
Cycle Day Friday:
Apart from encouraging enthusiasts to take up cycling, the administration urges everyone to make Friday in every week as Cycle Day. The idea behind the plan is to encourage many people to come to office on a cycle once in a week i.e. on Friday to promote a better city environment, healthy lifestyle and sustainable urban habitat.
Gift A Bicycle:
It’s an appeal to people who have the capacity to help others by gifting a bicycle to a person who is passionate about cycling but is not able to buy one for himself/herself. Those who will gift bicycles to the needy will be acknowledged by the City Administration for their kindheartedness.
This apart, on every Friday, BSCL Chief Executive Officer and BMC Commissioner will also gift 25 cycles to COVID Sachetaks and Peer Leaders who have shown exemplary commitment and dedication by working on the frontline to protect the community against the coronavirus. Total 200 cycles would be given to them as gifts.
Bhubaneswar aims to help communities transform into a sustainable neighbourhood by providing them continuous cycle tracks in neighborhoods and within residential areas which connects people to their daily needs. The City Authority is currently taking suggestions of public in identifying loops or potential cycle tracks within residential areas in the city through citizen surveys and discussions.
So far, the public have suggested five neighborhood and corridor loops have been identified in Bhubaneswar. These are at KIIT Square- Infocity loop (Education loop), Nayapalli IRC ( Park loop ), Lumbini Vihar connecting Buddha Jayanti ( Adventure loop), Khandagiri – ITER ( Morning trail and essentials loop) and Old city ( Heritage loop).
The cycle loops will be a network between residential areas and essential services such as bus stops, grocery stores, pharmacies, markets and recreation areas. It will help to improve access to schools, safe walking routes in the neighbourhood and improvement of public spaces.
The campaign which will continue till December 14 includes a host of activities – both online and on ground to create public interest and making cycling an integral part of their lives. The administration hopes 8000+ cyclists will be registered in the Cycle4Change Campaign by December 13 and become a part of #Cycle4Change social movement. Influencers will be invited to take pledge online and the video will be subsequently published in social media accounts of BSCL and BMC.
Celebrities can post videos on their Facebook & Instagram handles with #FridayCycleDay hashtag. Citizens taking part in #CycleGiri and #CycleDayFriday can tag to BMC and Smart City pages.
Cycling offers us a healthy, affordable and COVID-safe solution for a green recovery. Through this challenge, a city will have to create a shared vision with their citizens. Every citizen should come together to ignite a cycling transformation in Bhubaneswar.
Along with 95 other cities, Bhubaneswar is taking part in the India Cycles4change challenge, which will run in two stages. In October, 11 cities will be shortlisted and will receive Rs 1 crore award and guidance from national and international experts to further scale up the initiatives in stage two, which will be held until May 2021.