The city of Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh is taking a step in the right direction, as it plans to encourage more citizens to use a bicycle as a mode of transportation.
According to reports, the Kakinada Municipal Corporation has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the All India Bicycling Federation (AIBF) to launch its first bicycle sharing stand within the next three months.
"The agreement involves no financial transactions, as the AIBF is keen on raising funds from different sources such as International Green Funds, banks, government and non-government organisations to procure bicycles and to maintain them. On its part, the KMC is laying exclusive tracks for bicycling and build bicycle stations," Municipal Commissioner S Aleem Basha told The Hindu.
Kakinada was on the first list of 20 Smart Cities announced by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu in January.
Last month, the smart city initiative added the cycle on rent proposal with the goal to make these cities cycling friendly, including the consideration of separate lanes for bicycles.
According to a report in The Times of India, these cycles would be available at a nominal cost on an hourly basis and residents will be able to leave the cycle at any stand. There will be the smart card system for payment and GPS would be installed on the cycles.
The latest development comes soon after it was announced that the city will have a command control centre for redressal of public grievances and to improve civic amenities.
East Godavari District Collector H Arun Kumar said that authorities were planning to extend several amenities to the public in Ramarao Peta area in the city, The Hans India reported. These amenities, which will be extended on a pilot basis, will include the supply of cooking gas and extension of fiber grid services among others.
In June this year, Kakinada was zeroed in to establish an incubation centre and and an innovation hub for smart cities. The Hindu reported that the innovation centre "will be a 85:15 venture between AP and Qianhai Authority and ZTE Soft (a telecom services provider). While AP will invest Rs. 13.60 crore, ZTE Rs. 2.4 core and gradually facilitate other investments while attracting companies."
This will provide direct employment to 670 people and indirect employment to 2,500 people over the next three years, state Minister for IT and C Palle Raghunath Reddy had said.
Kakinada is also not the only city in the state looking at going the 'green' way.
Earlier, a proposal was put for blue-tooth-embedded e-bicycles in and around Andhra's new capital Amaravati. The Chennai-based Veltech Dr RR & Dr SR University had made a proposal to Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to introduce '"smart" eco-friendly transport in the city.