In a first of its kind initiative, a group of youth in association with Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) will start 'Parikrama'- a cycle sharing system from January 23. Commuters in the city would get bicycles for the cheapest and environment-friendly ride by depositing their identity proof and Rs 100, which is refundable. The cycle sharing system will start with 30 cycles in six IOCL petrol pumps.
"We wanted to popularize cycling as a medium of transport for reasons like, it is cheap, it is pollution free and it will keep one fit. We must take steps to check pollution levels before we reach the level of Delhi or other metro cities," said Rudra Samantaray, a city-based businessman and member of Jay Odisha-a voluntary organization that has taken up the initiative. Besides, the cycle sharing system will complement the city's dedicated cycle tracks and the civic body's plan to extend the tracks along National Highways, he added.
Cycle sharing system is quite popular and successful in China and Europe. However, the system has been introduced in a few cities of India like Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai for last few years as part of both government and private initiatives.
"The cycle sharing system would not only reduce usage of private vehicles but will also create awareness about the environment and raise the mobility level of people," said Sandeep Hota, a member of Jay Odisha.
A rider has to deposit his or her identity proof including voter identity card, PAN card, driving license, Aadhar card, passport or bank passbook. They will also have to deposit Rs 100 refundable amount before taking the cycle. "The first six hours will be free and after that, one has to pay a nominal amount for a one-hour extra drive for cycles," Hota added.
Bhubaneswar Mayor Anant Narayan Jena said, "We welcome such environment-friendly initiative, which will help in making the city really smart in coming days."
Volunteers will be there in each of the six stations to help the guides if they will face any kind of problems. "We are also discussing with insurance companies to insure the riders in case they meet any kind of accident on the road. We are also ready to pay a high premium for it," said Routray adding "Once the programme will be successful in the city we have plans to extend it to other towns of the state." The group has started creating awareness about the cycle sharing programme in different schools, colleges, railway stations, public places and through radio and outdoor advertisements.