Mo Cycles left to rot; painting of cycling tracks a sham!


Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has begun restoring the cycle tracks ahead of the Hockey World Cup, but the much-hyped ‘Mo Cycle’ initiative is in a wreck, resembling scrap yards at many places.

The initiative was launched in the Odisha capital during the previous edition of the FIH Men’s World Cup here in 2018. It is being said that public bicycle-sharing system, introduced in the city with investment of crores, failed due to complete mismanagement of the administration. Meanwhile, Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), as part of the city beautification plan for the World Cup, have started painting cycle tracks that otherwise remain encroached throughout the year.

But there is little focus on reviving the cycle-sharing system. Out of around 2,000 cycles in the PBS system, around 1,500 are in usable condition, said sources. However, most of these cycles, covered in thick layer of dust, are rotting at docking stations due to poor upkeep. Barring certain docking stations, cycles have vanished from several places including Saheed Nagar, Rasulgarh, AG square and other parts.

With the World Cup event staring from January 13, the PBS system would have been of huge help in promoting public transport. The cycles would have been an easy option for the spectators to ride to Kalinga Stadium. However, it is unfortunate that proper attention is yet to be paid for revival of the system, said urban planner Piyush Ranjan Rout, a vocal advocate for promotion of cycling in Bhubaneswar. One of the general managers of BSCL, however, said that steps are being taken for revival of the PBS project and a meeting in this regard will be conducted soon.

Around 1,000 Hexi cycles with 700 in working condition were left to rot in the open at docking stations across the city due to the unending stalemate between BSCL and Hero Youon Pvt Ltd over non-payment of GST amount. The firm while working under CRUT had been fined around Rs 45 lakh for allegedly claiming GST without paying tax to the government and not spending the Rs 5,000 it was paid for annual maintenance of each cycle. Subsequently, its payments were blocked to adjust the fine amount.

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