Mysuru, June 5: It's not often that we see our VIPs abandoning the comfort of their air-conditioned cars and come out in the open to ride a bicycle. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah surprised a lot of onlookers on the streets of Mysuru, around 150-km from state capital Bengaluru, when he was seen enjoying a bicycle ride with several other fellow bike lovers on Sunday.
The CM's bicycle journey was preceded by the inauguration of India's first public bicycle sharing initiative--Trin Trin--in the heritage city. The green transport initiative was launched just a day before the World Environment Day observed across the globe on Monday.
As a part of the inauguration of the green and sustainable commuting option, Siddaramaiah also released a short video detailing various aspects of Trin Trin and a mobile app.
According to an estimate, around 600 cities across the globe are providing their residents with the option of using bicycles as a mode of transportation. Mysuru becomes the first city in the country to launch a public bicycle sharing system.
Experts say the city with around 12 lakh population will hugely benefit by adopting bicycles as its favourite mode of transportation. Experts add that bicycles would help reduce pollution level in Mysuru.
Several other Indian cities including Bengaluru were planning to adopt the public bicycle sharing system.
A total of 48 docking stations have been set up across the city, where a total of 450 bicycles are available for borrowing at a nominal fee. Those who want to use the bicycles have to first register themselves as members by paying Rs 350 fee. The registered members will be given smart cards for swiping at the docking stations before borrowing the bicycles.
The CM, who studied in Mysuru, became a bit nostalgic during his bicycle journey on the city roads.
"I used to peddle around in the city when I was studying in 1961, and peddled 20-km from Mysuru to my village, Siddaramanahundi, every Saturday. With Mysuru having a 12 lakh population and 6.5 lakh registered vehicles, it is necessary to use non-motorised transport to retain the beauty of the city," he said.