Mumbai: Reducing traffic congestion and decreasing pollution was the objective of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in constructing a cycle track at Carter Road at Bandra (west). The track has been constructed two months back but it is encroached by motor bikes, cars and hawkers thus making it dysfunctional for cyclists.

The 1.2 kilometre track laid after the proposal of municipal corporator Asif Zakaria has plastic blocks to mark its division from the actual road just at the start. The remaining stretch of this track is marked with a white line which has faded away at most of the sections. Therefore, vehicles are parked along this stretch though there are signboards throughout the track claiming that ‘it is a dedicated cycle track and parking is not allowed’.

The locals of that area have never used this cycle track as it is not possible to ride cycles there. The locals said, “There is no division like plastic blocks or a rope to distinguish this entire track so we cannot use it as they are always occupied by vehicles. We cannot walk on this track so cycling is out of the question. Often there are people who cycle in the morning but they are forced to ride on the road amidst speeding cars despite having this dedicated space.”

Sachin Wadekar, a regular cyclist, said, “In Mumbai, cyclists cannot ride on the road as there is traffic congestion and speeding vehicles. There is no value for cyclists even though everybody talks about reducing pollution and proclaims the health benefits of cycling. Dedicated cycle tracks are a need of the hour and such tracks are being wasted due to non-maintenance and negligence.”

Asif Zakaria, municipal corporator of that area, told the Free Press Journal, “We started this cycle track on an experimental basis and installed various signboards to inform people about this space. But, the boards have been broken and the banners are destroyed.”

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Free Press Journal