As a part of ‘INDIA CYCLES FOR CHANGE CHALLENGE’, Nagpur is gearing up to make the city bicycle-friendly. The initiative is taken by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) under Smart City Mission to make the cities bicycle-friendly. Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL) is strongly supporting the initiative and will leave no stone unturned to bring Nagpur among top bicycle-friendly cities of India.
NSSCDCL has decided to have separate bicycle lanes of approximately 17 kms inside the city. The lanes surround the west region of Nagpur completing a loop starting and ending from Law College square. Also, measures would be taken so that best use of it can be made by the cyclists of Nagpur. In recent days, NSSCDCL and Deepanti Pal, Bicycle Mayor of Nagpur and Strategic Planner to NSSCDCL for this project have conducted a ‘Handle-Bar’ survey, during which, they met numerous people which involved bicycle vendors, cyclists, and other stakeholders of the city were in their suggestions have been documented for the betterment of the city in terms of bicycling. During these conversations, Nikhil Sutaria owner of one of the oldest bicycle stores of Nagpur ‘Nareshchandra Co. said, that “Earlier people used to go to schools, colleges, or to their workplace by their bicycles. Nowadays, due to COVID-19 it feels those days are going to be back soon.
He insisted that if Nagpur has separate bicycle lanes, it would definitely encourage the citizens to use bicycles more often”. In another conversation, Aniruddha Ratnakar Raich owner of Ncyclopedia Bicycle store said “If bicycle has to be made mainstream, more awareness is required. Bicycle must be seen as a mode of transport and nothing else”. An interesting conversation took place when Anand Kasture, a reporter by profession told us that he has been using bicycle as his mode of transport since five years. He also mentioned that if the mind-set is right, nothing can stop you from riding a bicycle, not even the scorching summers of Nagpur. Renowned cyclist of Nagpur, Dr. Amit Samarth said “People do not ride bicycles due to lack of cycling lanes, no parking spaces, indiscipline of traffic and bad roads in certain parts of the city. We need more public awareness, safety on roads and parking stands for bicyclists in the city to encourage people to take up bicycling in general”.
On the other hand, an accounts officer at an educational institute, Mr. Abhay Ghui said that since seven years he has been using the bicycle every day for recreation without fail and it has transformed his life for good.
Tukaram Mundhe, Municipal Commissioner said “Let us cycle for the benefit of citizens as well as the city. It is the need of the hour to move towards carbon free mode of transport to make the city sustainable and he expressed his full support and guidance to NSSCDCL in this activity. Mayor of the city, Sandip Joshi has given his best wishes for the project to the entire core team of NSSCDCL for this project. DCP Traffic, Vikram Sali has supported the initiative of bicycle lanes and is happy that he will also now have a specific place to ride his bicycle on a regular basis. Mahesh Moroney, CEO (In-charge) of NSSCDCL said, “It feels great to look at the enthusiasm of the citizens for bicycling. Hence it is my responsibility to give them best resources and make the city bicycle friendly.