Agra, April 29 (IANS) A key project of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Rs 133 crore 207 km-long cycle track from Etawah to Agra, is in shambles for want of care and patronage. Many villagers use the track to dry cow dung cakes or wash clothes.
The concrete-layered cycle track along the wilderness and ravines of Yamuna did not find many users or cycle enthusiasts.
“In Bah area, the track was not even fully complete but the then government was in a hurry to inaugurate the project on November 26, 2016,” said a local school teacher, Subodh Kumar.
Akhilesh Yadav wanted to promote cycling in a big way. “He was often seen cycling for rallies through villages,” Kumar said. Cycle is his party’s election symbol.
The cycle track, with colourful pillars meandering along shady trees, had to be bulldozed in Agra city to make way for six-lane Fatehabad road, connecting Kheria Airport with the Taj Mahal.
“Since this stretch of road is frequently used by VIPs and foreign dignitaries, a plan to widen it had been there in the pipeline for a long time,” a contractor at the site said.
After a hue and cry was raised by some local groups, the State Public Works Department said it will build a new cycling track after the widening of the road is completed.
“But given the circumstances, it is not likely. The present political dispensation is not interested,” a Samajwadi Party worker said.
“In any case, how many people used the cycle track? For security reasons, foreign tourists showed no interest while villagers prefer motor bikes these days,” said Shravan Kumar Singh, an environmentalist.