Bhubaneswar: The much-hyped Mo Cycle scheme, the system of public sharing of bicycles in the smart city, now grapples with some of the ‘non-smart’ decisions, apparently taken in haste by officials to launch the scheme, that are adding to the woes of citizens.
A number of regular cyclists and cycling enthusiasts are complaining that the whole scheme to use bicycles on the city roads is neither convenient nor smart.
Most of the users accuse the civic authorities of trying to benefit the private cycle operators rather than helping the citizens to use the eco-friendly mode of transport at lower costs.
Ajay Nanda, a regular local cyclist, said that the ‘non-smart’ move of the smart city implementing agency is evident from the entire operation of the cycling system which forces the users to download the mobile applications of all the three private cycle service providers besides making payments to each of them.
“For a regular cyclist, one needs to download all the three mobile applications of the three operators as not all brands of cycles would be available at their preferred choice of location. Not only just downloading them, one also needs to pay each of them differently to use the cycle,” said Nanda.
Other users echoed similar frustrations. Many said if one downloads only one application of one brand, she/he might not find the cycle at the cycling station to ride despite having paid the security money and the rental recharges.
“Most of them ask for Rs 100 as security money on their application to proceed. Later, one has to pay the rentals which could be recharged in addition to the security money. The whole exercise is painstaking and almost unnecessary,” said Debasis Mohanty, another cyclist from the city.
The need to have a different mobile application for each cycle service provider and payment to each of them differently is not the only woe the whole cycling community in the city is grappling with.
A number of cyclists also complained of lack of availability of cycles at different stations; some stationed at parking bays in parking mode for longer periods are not ready for use.
The massive and rampant encroachment of cycling tracks in the absence of strict checks is another main issue discouraging cyclists from using the tracks.
Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) Managing Director and BDA Vice Chairman Krishan Kumar could not be contacted due to his non-availability at BMC and BDA office while SMSes and emails sent to him did not evoke any response at the time of writing the report.
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