BHUBANESWAR: The Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) has decided to suspend operation of Hexi cycles, owned by Hero Youno Private Limited, for failing to operate and maintain public bicycle sharing (PBS) in the smart city.
After the pandemic broke out in March 2020, the PBS was hit with most of the cycles rotting in the dock. After the city started limping back to normalcy, the cycle operators were asked to maintain the docks and repair the defunct cycles. But the Hexi ignored the reminders of the BSCL, compelling the latter to slap show-cause notice on it on February 23.
“We had served a show-cause notice to Hexi and asked it to explain itself within 15 days. It has not sent any explanation so far, which, according to our show-cause letter, means the company had nothing to explain. In this case, it is obvious that Hexi cycles is no more in operation under PBS system in the city, said BSCL general manager Kamaljit Das.
Hexi has deployed the highest of 1,000 cycles for PBS followed by Yana and Yulu with 500 cycles each. Since Hexi has been out of operation, the BSCL will look for some other cycle operator or may ask the existing ones to increase the number of cycles deployed. “We are yet to decide whether to rope in a new player or not,” Das added.
Hero Youno had entered into an agreement with Capital Region Urban Transport (Crut), of which BSCL is a part, to operate and maintain Pthe BS. Now, Crut has transferred the PBS to Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) although its administrative control still lies with BSCL.
“Due to your negligence and non-compliance with the agreement, the PBS is facing challenges, which is in turn creating embarrassing situation for BSCL. The violation of the provisions of the agreement will lead to black-listing of the company, recovery of the amount paid, forfeiture of security deposit and confiscation of all equipment,” the BSCL has written to Hero Youno.
Hexi cycles didn’t operate from November 2020 because of technical snags in its app. The operation and maintenance were also poor with its cycles lying defunct in the docks. The other two —Yana and Yulu — are operating services currently. Yana now has 477 cycles with 15 in warehouse and Yulu operates 509 cycles. The BSCL said its 350 cycle docks are intact.
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