Chandigarh UT has been selected as one of the 11 cities in India to receive a scale-up support of Rs. 1 Crore from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, for the India Cycles4Change Challenge organised under the Smart Cities Mission.
The event was presided by Durga Shankar Mishra, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and was attended by key stakeholders from Central and State Governments including Municipal Commissioners of Cities, and MDs/CEOs of Smart Cities.
The CEO said that Chandigarh will also receive guidance from National and International experts to further scale up the initiatives. As per the survey by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), the use of cycles has increased by 65% during the lockdown. Hence, the centre had decided to launch this challenge to motivate cities to implement cycling-friendly initiatives. In all, 107 cities had participated in the first round of the challenge launched in June 2020, under which they had to implement and introduce low cost changes to increase cycling infrastructure. Out of these 107, Chandigarh was selected in the top-25 in February 2021.
He said that a presentation was given to the jury members to cement its place in the top 11. The monetary support received will be utilized in scaling-up of cycling-friendly initiatives in the city. The programme will also involve a compilation of shared learnings from the 11 cities, so that each city can study infrastructure models of other cities to analyze ways the same can be implemented in their zones. The journey of Chandigarh in the India Cycles4Change Challenge started with community engagement through forms and surveys to know the issues and feedback of people towards cycling in the city.
He added that notably, the CSCL has already constructed a dedicated network of 200-km cycle tracks in the city and more are being constructed to connect the periphery and the city’s industrial areas. Chandigarh is also gearing up for the launch of the first phase of the PBS with 1,250 bicycles at 155 docking stations spread across the city.