BDA makes bicycle tracks mandatory for housing project approval

Bhubaneswar: With an aim to promote clean city environment, healthy lifestyle and sustainable urban habitat, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) will henceforth make mandatory for all housing projects to adopt sustainable transport infrastructure and promote the non-motorized transport (NMT) for the benefits of the denizens.

As per the guidelines, not a single housing project will get approval if it fails to provide the required infrastructure and commitment for promoting NMT, especially the Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS)in building and plot level.

It has been decided in the Building Plan Committee of development authority that provision for the dedicated cycle tracks should be the integral part of planning.

All future housing projects and the ones which are currently waiting for the approval must have to provide enough infrastructure for implementing the non-motorized transport system as part of the initiative towards making Bhubaneswar a sustainable Smart City.

According to Regulation 52 of BDA (Planning and Building Standards) Regulations, 2018, to promote and develop sustainable urban transport infrastructure, the Authority, with prior approval of State Government, may specify guidelines for prescribing standards of street design, setting up and operationalization of Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) programme, infrastructure at plot/project level to promote non-motorized transport and public transport, street improvement programme etc.

It may be noted here that the BDA has a provision for sustainable urban transport at project level (building/land development).

According to BDA Vice-Chairman Prem Chandra Chaudhary: “Our purpose is to inculcate the passion for cycling among children and school students by providing them adequate and safe infrastructure in the area they live in as the millennials have almost forgotten cycling as a mode of transport. Therefore, all housing units in Bhubaneswar should give the highest priority to public transport, walking and non-motorised vehicles including cycle tracks that are accessible to almost everyone and have low impacts in polluting environment.”

Notably, the city administration comprising Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has asked every employee including the outsourced staff, to shun vehicles and come to office once in a week on cycle or by walking in order to promote clean and pollution free environment.

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