On 10th July 2020, The Smart City Mission of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs opened the registration for India Cycles4Change Challenge launched by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State Housing and Urban Affairs on 25th June 2020. During the event a brief description of the challenge was given and the online portal for application submission of the participating cities was launched.
Portal for application: https://smartnet.niua.org/indiacyclechallenge/
Around 450 participants attended the event including the CEO’s of Smart Cities, commissioners, city officials, civil society organisations experts and citizens.
India Cycles4Change Challenge:
Aim: To connect the cities with citizens and experts to develop a vision to promote cycling.
Eligibility for the challenge:
- All the cities under the Smart Cities Mission.
- Capital cities of the State/Union Territories (UT).
- Cities with a population more than 5 lakhs.
The eligible cities can register through the portal from 10th July 2020 to 21st July 2020.
Stages of the challenge:
The challenge runs in 2 stages:
The cities will focus on testing and promote cycling and develop a scale up strategy.
This state will run till October 2020.
The Ministry will shortlist 11 towns and provide a cash award of Rs.1 crore and guidance from international and national experts to develop the initiatives.
Stage 2 will run until May 2021.
Benefits of Cycles4Change:
i.The recent survey by Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) indicated that cycling would increase by 50-65% as cities come out of lockdown.
ii.The investment in cycling infrastructure will have economic benefits up to 5.5 times the initial investment .
iii.The increasing cycling will support the green economic recovery.
iv.Cycling for short distances can result in Rs. 1.8 trillion to the annual gain of the Indian economy.
Initiatives in India:
i.Kolkata has proposed reclaiming parking spaces to create a dedicated cycle corridor, this will be implemented by 2021 after a preliminary road survey.
ii.The Green lane foundation of Guwahati, is conducting a survey for citizens to vote on the best cycling route to construct a bicycle lane in the city. This will be utilised in the Cycles4Change challenge.
About Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs:
Minister of State– Hardeep Singh Puri.