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Nagaland: Kohima to participate in India Cycles4Change Challenge

“The Covid-19 pandemic is an opportunity for cities to reinvent themselves. Cycling offers us a healthy, affordable, and COVID-safe solution for a green recovery. Through this challenge, I encourage cities to create a shared vision with their citizens. We should come together to ignite a cycling transformation in our Indian cities” said Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary, Smart Cities Mission. Kohima will participate in the India Cycles4Change Challenge under the initiative of the Kohima Smart City Development Ltd. (KSCDL) in partnership with various stakeholders, local champions and citizens. 

Kovi Meyase, CEO, KSCDL, said Kohima is among the 95 cities in the country to have registered for the India Cycles4Change Challenge.

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It is an initiative of Smart Cities Mission, Union ministry of housing and urban affairs, which aims to inspire and support the cities to implement quick cycling-friendly initiatives in response to Covid-19.

The India Programme of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy is the knowledge partner of the Smart Cities Mission in conducting this Challenge and guiding cities through it.

Through this Challenge, the registered cities will implement quick interventions to create a safe and cycling-friendly city.

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The KSCDL said to ensure this transformation, Kohima is committed to working with its citizens as it develops and implements the proposals. It sought their support in making this programme a success as community engagement is a key component of the initiative.

The KSCDL launched the Kohima Cycles4Change Campaign on Monday to encourage more people into cycling and head towards the path of fitness, balanced growth, personal transport, and a cultural shift towards the sport of cycling for a better and greener future.

Union minister of housing and urban affairs (independent charge) Hardeep Singh Puri announced the India Cycles4Change Challenge on June 25 at the 5th anniversary celebrations of the Smart City Mission in New Delhi.

Kohima has already attended Workshop 1 of the Challenge that focused on the technical, community engagement, and communications components of cycling initiatives. Over the next few weeks, the city will roll out a survey to understand citizens’ perception of cycling.

The survey aims to identify barriers to cycling in Kohima and inform the design process. The city urged all civil society organisations, consultants, corporate or concerned citizens to support it in the India Cycles4Change Challenge by registering using the link https://bit.ly/2X0UK3v.  

The Challenge will run in two stages.

In Stage 1, which will run till October, the cities will pilot initiatives such as pop-up cycle lanes, host public consultations, conduct surveys, and hold campaigns to promote cycling, which will help develop a scale-up strategy. Based on the pilots and city-wide proposals submitted, 11 cities will be shortlisted in October for Stage 2. 

In Stage 2, they will be awarded Rs 1 crore and guided by national and international experts to scale-up the initiatives. This stage will extend till May 2021. 

During the course of the Challenge, the cities will be guided through online workshops, technical knowledge material, and peer-to-peer learning discussions with fellow cities. This will help cities strategize and implement pilots, while also developing their scale-up proposal, the KSCDL said.  

Citizen collaboration is a key metric in the evaluation of proposals submitted by the cities. To assist the city in this aspect, the Challenge has launched an online portal which features a page exclusively for this purpose titled ‘Support your city’.

By filling the form on this page, interested citizens, civil society organisations, students, consultants, and corporate can express their interest in working with the city for the Challenge. Interested citizens can support through plan and design cycling initiatives, coordinate the roll-out of the programme, organise consultations with citizens, mobilize volunteers for the initiatives, be a volunteer for the initiatives, spread the word through social networks, document through photos, videos, and blogs, monitor or evaluate the impact of initiatives and sponsor or bring in sponsors.

Kohima, by using this portal, will review the entries and form a diverse team that will support in developing and implementing the initiatives. 

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