31 May 2018


Bicycle on hire?
During our stay at Parlakhemundi (PKD) I had the unique experience of taking a cycle on hire. Once my friend and school class mate Ratindra asked me, “If I was interested to visit the scenic place of Brundaban Palace on the banks of Mahendrataneya, on a Sunday afternoon”?
I told him that I was very much interested but father’s cycle from Baripada had not reached PKD. Ratindra said “No problem, you can take a cycle on hire for 25 paisa per hour”
That was my first experience of using a hired cycle in life. The cycle store used to keep around twenty polished bicycle for hire but the person from outside had to be introduced by a local person- a teacher, a police or a local businessman. I deposited one rupee and signed the log book and my friend Ratindra whose father was the school headmaster, introduced me. Those days’ teachers, lecturers and students used to go by bicycle to the education institutes. I do not remember seeing any private cars at that place.
That was in the year 1957-8.Since then I wonder why no such system existed in other places of Odisha except Ganjam.
                                       Let’s say if this is introduced in Bhubaneswar then what will happen? Half of them will not be returned, around 5% of them will be knocked down by motor bikes or cars, and the wheels will be exchanged with old tires and rim. Good idea but will not last long, a risky business. A country where a mug is tied with a chain in IR toilets for the fear of being stolen, is difficult to image a cycle on hire? We do not have cycle track. The smart city footpath has been converted to motor bike track and every day some senior citizen gets abused or injured by these ruffian bike riders!
If one could introduce a “Bicycle Time” then only the idea of using cycles by students and other health fanatics may pick up but I think this is a day dreaming idea by the author.
Let’s watch the upcoming World cup Hockey tournament at smart city Bhubaneswar, where each imported bicycles’ worth fifty thousand rupees would be available for hire! One can take the horse to water hole but can’t force it to drink? *These places shown in this picture have provision for hired cycle in India.
(ବାହାଘର ବେଳେ ବାଇଗଣ ରୁଆ ?)
Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy
Senior Citizen.          

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