Residents of Ghaziabad are angry with the state government for spending over Rs 20 crores for laying cycle tracks in the city. In a recent response to an RTI query filed by Alok Kumar, FedAOA patron and an activist from Indirapuram, Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) said it had invested around Rs 23 crore to lay 55 km of track in various zones of the city.
Speaking to City Spidey, residents said the investment was a waste of public money disguised as a step for public convenience.
Priya Rawat, a resident of Indirapuram, said these tracks have encroached upon the roads in the area, leaving barely enough space for a single vehicle to pass at a time. “Earlier, people used to park their vehicles by the road," said Rawat. "Now, since the space has been taken up by the tracks, and the city does not have enough space for car parking, people park their cars on the road, further narrowing it,” she explained.
Alok Kumar told City Spidey that Indirapuram needed wider roads owing to the rapid increase in the number of people and vehicles in the area. “Instead of providing wider roads, the government is making them narrower. This makes no sense,” added Kumar.
Amit Upadhyay, founder of Indirapuram Cycling Club and a regular cyclist, expressed his disregard for the cycle tracks in the city. “Most of these tracks are encroached upon by street vendors," said Upadhyay. "There is hardly any place for us to ride. The route of the cycle tracks even seems to be recced poorly, as there are several obstacles such as electricity poles, trees and manholes, bang in the middle of the tracks."
However, some residents called the entire project a PR stunt by the Samajwadi Party, as the party symbol was a cycle. They also said the discomfort caused to residents might, in fact, have a negative impact on the party’s fate in the upcoming state polls.
Mukesh Gupta, a resident of Kavinagar, demanded the tracks be removed and used to widen the roads.
“Due to lack of space, and traffic jams on the roads, many two-wheelers take to the cycle tracks for a smoother ride. This can prove to be dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians,” said Ashok Gupta, a resident of Shipra Sun City in Indirapuram.
However, some cyclists City Spidey spoke to also said that some of the tracks such as the ones situated in Kavinagar industrial area, near the Ghaziabad Road Transport Office (RTO), laid through the central verges of the roads, offer a pleasant riding experience.