December 8, 2022



5 Years On, Project ‘good’ On Paper, Risky On Ground | Bhopal News

Bhopal: Dedicated cycle lanes have been converted into roads for motorbikes and even as parking lots along Hoshangabad road. The dedicated track for bycycles was flagged off in 2017. Just five years on, the PBS track, dubbed as country’s longest stretch for non-motorised transport, is now a drive-at-your-own-risk zone for cyclists, young and old.
On paper, is a 2.5-meter-wide track on both sides of Hoshangabad road is the perfect zone for an early morning health trip for early risers. The cycle track follows parallel to the BRTS lane. It stretches from RRL to Misrod crossing. It was developed by the Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Limited. The “dedicated” track stretches across 5.5 km from one side of the road and runs for 11km if both sides of the road are considered.
Ground reality is quite different. After landing from flyover, the RRL crossing to BU stretch is manageable. The situation soon deteriorates. A U-turn for traffic coming from Bawadiya ignored by most commuters. PBS track barriers have been disbanded allowing motorists to use the cycle track to skip drive wrong way to navigate onto the other side of the BRTS.
A little further, showrooms to other commercial establishments have converted the PBS into a motorist parking space. The same is replicated on the otherside for traffic moving towards the Habibganj flyover. BMC has also ignored street hawkers in the area. Anti-encroachment drives seldom leaves a meaning full impression.
Hoshangabad track have been created after demolition of properties along the road. It took years of litigation to achieve the land acquisition amid controversies. Going by the RFP of the PBS track, cycle corridors was aimed at ‘promoting a cycle culture’. Comprehensive mobility plan was cited by the BMC, which quoted 50% of the commuters use non-motorised transport.
The first phase of the project started with a cost of Rs 2.95 crore. It claimed to adopt a new revenue model: It plans to raise operating costs of Rs 6.7 lakh per month from membership, rental income, advertisement revenue, sponsorship contracts, parking fee and CSR funding, among others.