24 Apr 2018 06:20am IST
The much-awaited phase I of pedestrian-cum-cycling track along River Mandovi from Youth hostel to Children’s Park to be completed in six months
Cycling enthusiasts across the city have a reason to rejoice, as the much-awaited phase I of pedestrian-cum-cycling track along the River Mandovi promenade from Youth hostel to Children’s Park is set to be completed in the next six months.
Envisioned as an all-weather cycling track and jogging path, Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) had commenced construction of the 1.6 km track along the river bank through construction firm Krishna Builders.
This project is being jointly funded by the State and Centre under the AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transportation) which stresses on non-motorised transport and development of open spaces.
Speaking to Herald, Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited (IPSCDL) CEO and MD Swayandipta Pal Chaudhuri said they have completed 950 meters of the 1.6 kms stretch and added that the main aim of the project was also to protect the soil on the bank of the river from eroding.
“In terms of phase II, currently the technical analysis and soil testing is going and once we get approvals from the authorities the work will be tendered. Phase II stretch should be around 800 metres starting from Children’s park to ESG,” he said, adding that they were looking for earmarking the road for cycle track from ESG to Divja Circle right up to Old Goa, which will be done taking into confidence all the stakeholders.
He said the delay in completion was due to some of the technical issues and since GSIDC was executing the project of their behalf, details have been sought from them on an immediate basis.
However, keeping in mind the aesthetics of the river bank, officials have decided to avoid the use of tetra pods. The track just about 2 metres wide with a 0.20 meter height is made up of concrete and is designed as per Indian Road Congress Guidelines (IRCG).
Speaking further, Chaudhuri said that the tender for Public Bike Sharing System project under the Smart City Mission would be floated in the next 10 days and the same would be implemented on public-private partnership basis in order to decongest the city traffic. He also said they would give the advertising rights on bicycles as well as at the docking stations to the service providers so that there the government did not incur additional cost.
“Our survey shows that 48 per cent of users of bicycles in the city are less than 20 years, while 80 per cent of users are under 30 years stating that that around 99.5 per cent citizens have supported bicycling in the city. Altogether 60 docking stations would be set up in phases around the city.” he added
Meanwhile, a cycling enthusiast Anirudha Bhaje was elated on learning of the proposal. “This is positive step; Panjim was in need of something like this for safe riding. We should learn a lot from Holland and their style of cycle tracks. This is just the beginning and lots more need to come.”