BENGALURU: Bengaluru has become the third city in the country to have a ‘Bicycle Mayor’ after Vadodara and Guwahati. Out of 19 applicants shortlisted for the position, a 42-year-old civic activist Satya Shankaran was announced as the winner. The selection panel included civic activists Ashwin Mahesh, V. Ravichander and Srinivas Alavalli, and urban transport experts Pawan Mulukutla and Prof. Ashish Verma.
In order to ensure 50 per cent of the transport in the city to be bicycles, the initiative ‘Bicycle Mayor’ is an honorary two-year position envisioned by Amsterdam-based NGO ByCS. In India, the project is being implemented in coordination with the NGO Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF).
Shankaran has been a part of various projects which focuses and promotes non-motorized transport. He is the co-founder of the NGO Prajaa has been focusing on civic interventions in Bengaluru, and the founder of Citizens for Sustainability (Cifos), focusing on technology and infrastructure.
Shankaran said, “We will bring together experts and cycling enthusiasts who will help to promote the concept of non-motorized transport among people. We will be focusing on creating awareness among school students. The idea is to approach schools and teach students subjects such as physics, health, and civics through cycling.”
To promote the concept of using more bicycles, the city will soon get 400 parking hubs for bicycles. Under a project, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palika is constructing 125 km of cycle lanes, announced by the Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT).
Talking about 125 kms cycling lanes, the special officer (DULT), N. Murali Krishna said that about 50 km will be developed in sub-arterial routes. “This is likely to be ready within the next six months. For the rest, planning has to be done,” he added.