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Cycle-sharing hits roadblock: Corporation sends notice to firm
Chennai residents have to wait for another few months to taste the dockless cycle sharing system as the Hyderabad-based service provider has been allegedly delaying the implementation of the ambitious and long-pending project of the Greater Chennai Corporation.
According to a Corporation source, the civic body has recently sent a notice of termination of contract seeking reasons for the reported delay by the Hyderabad-based firm, which had emerged successful by beating a Chinese firm and bagged Rs 10 crore contract to bring the cycle-sharing to Chennai.
“We do not know the reasons for the delay and further action will be taken based on the reply,” the source added. It may be noted that the civic body had asked the service provider to commence its operation in Chennai on June 3 – World Bicycle Day.
Explaining its effort to implement the cycle-sharing, the civic sources added that it had asked the Hyderabad firm to start cycle-sharing in three localities such as Anna Nagar, Besant Nagar and Marina in pilot basis. “The corporation is pressurising the ‘SmartBike’ to first bring the first set of bicycles and park them in the premises of Ripon Buildings,” the source explained.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed sources suggest that the service provider has been demanding an increase in the rent from stipulated Rs 5 per hour. “They seem to be waiting to generate advertisement revenues and sponsors,” the sources added.
The dockless cycle-sharing system in the city would have 378 bicycle parking locations and as many as 4,976 bicycles. As per the tender norms, the ‘SmartBike’ would have to operate cycle-sharing on design, built, finance and operate (DBFO) for 7 years. The Corporation has fixed Rs 5 per hour as rent and additional of Rs 9 for every extra 30 minutes.
The cycle-sharing system was mooted after the Greater Chennai Corporation adopted Non-Motorised Transport policy in 2014 to promote the use of emission-less transport in the city.