An 82-km cycle track to connect residential areas of the Mumbai suburb, 52 km in the kitty
Pravin Pandurang Mandavkar, 24, serves vada-pav in the Thane Municipal Corporation canteen. Everyday, he commutes from his house in Kharegaon, seven kilometres away, on his bicycle.
The daily commute, he said, is cumbersome and unsafe given the heavy traffic on the seven-kilometre stretch between his home and workplace. He has overheard officials talk of a road meant for bicyclists. "If that happens, my life will become easier and safer," he said.
The municipal corporation is planning an 82-km cycle track in Thane. Of this, the state government has cleared the plan for 52 km (see box Cost backup). The track would be two metres wide, carved out of existing roads, including service lanes, and separated by markings.
"The project will benefit cycle users.Take the example of the 10-km stretch between Teen Haath Naka and Golden Dyes junction (see map). Many labourers and people from the low-income group live here," said Mohan Kalal, an engineer overseeing this project. "There is a 15m service road on both sides of the main road, which leads to various internal roads. The main road connects to the Thane railway station and is ideal for cycle tracks."
Besides carving out a lane for cyclists, the cycle track project would reduce air pollution by 20 per cent, said K D Lala, also an engineer with the corporation. The project is part of a four-phase integrated mobility plan prepared by the municipal corporation (see box The plan). It has sought funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (jnnurm). The corporation has prepared a detailed project report and submitted it to the Centre.
I find it very difficult to cross the Kalwa Naka bridge because of the sea of vehicles and huge traffic. Once the dedicated cycle track comes up, my life will get easier and commuting by cycle will become safer
-PRAVIN PANDURANG MANDAVKAR
Cycle tracks are good news for vendors like me. I will be able to manage two trips a day and earn more. Now, I can make only one trip. Traffic to Chandanwadi, which is 10 km from where I stay, is too much
-MILIND ANKUSH GEETE
26, VEGETABLE SELLER
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