Abu Metha, Adviser to the chief minister during the launch of Cycles4Change App in Kohima on Friday

Kohima: In a move towards making Kohima a hub for cycling, the Kohima Smart City Development Limited (KSCDL) on Friday, launched the Cycles4Change mobile application which gives access for users to rent a bike, check cycling routes, mountain bike trail networks, cycling clubs and shops in Kohima, and also receive notifications on cycling events, group rides through Cloud messaging and in-App messaging platform.

Designed and developed in-house by its IT team, the simple and user-friendly App aims to gain visibility and outreach. It also provides access information on Kohima Cycle4Change Campaign and other initiatives by KSCDL.

The App was launched by Abu Metha, adviser to the chief minister at the KSCDL office in Kohima on Friday. Besides the launch of the App, Kohima Smart City team also briefly presented on the status of the projects undertaken by the KSDCL.

Addressing the gathering ahead of the launch, Metha said that one of the most important aspect towards improving mobility and transport is the last mile connectivity. With technology regulated systems, Metha said that like in other countries, e-cycles, e-scooters and so on can solve the last mile connectivity issue in the state.

He emphasized the need to pick cycling as a habit as it helps maintain fitness, besides being eco-friendly. Despite the hilly and steep terrain, Metha said that Kohima has one of the widest roads among the hill stations.

With developments on the cycle lanes, and the government’s support towards cycling, he expressed that Kohima has a potential towards becoming a hub for cycling.

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Smart City and its Smart Citizens

For a city to be tagged as a smart city, Metha said that it first of all needs smart citizens. Citizens who are responsible and can contribute towards improving the liveability of the city, even more than it expects from the city.

“A city becoming smart is not just about physical infrastructure but it’s also equally about responsible, hospitable and accommodative citizens. Each citizen has a role to play in the rise of any city,” said Metha.

To envision a stable and future ready socio-economic scenario for the sttae, Metha said that it must begin from the State’s capital–Kohima. He said that there must be constant efforts to make Kohima more attractive, economically stronger, socially secure, and ultimately more liveable. A place with access to clean fresh water, good housing and food, quality health care, high standards of education, a safe and stable environment and diverse entertainment avenues are some of many aspects that up the liveability meter.

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Kohima Smart City’s Cycle4Change journey:

Kovi Meyase, CEO KSCDL, in a brief address highlighted how Nagaland registered for the Cycles4Change Challenge which was announced by the MoHUA in June of this year amidst the pandemic to “inspire cities to implement quick cycling friendly interventions in the wake of COVID- 9 with the support of their citizens and assistance from experts”.

95 out of the 100 Smart Cities are part in this challenge, out of which 11 cities would be short listed in the Stage 1 and eligible for a cash award of Rs 1 Crore to further promote cycling in the city with the help of international experts. Cities were mandated to create cycling networks using low cost methods like pop-up cycle lanes, non-motorized zones and set up community-led cycle rental schemes, besides any other pilot interventions.

He informed that in line with this, the Kohima Smart City registered for the challenge on the July 27, and formed a Strategic Action Plan based on three broad principles–aggressive social media campaign, community engagement and implementation of pilot interventions–to pro mote cycling in the city.

Under its initiative, over 100 cyclists and volunteers have registered online on July 27. The official Kohima Cycles4Change Logo was launched on the July 29. Over 1500 citizens participated in the online Cycling Survey for Citizens August 4.

He also recalled the official launching of the Kohima Cycles4Change Campaign by the Advisor Urban Development, and a Bicycle Rally held on August 15. Following this, a free Bicycle Repair Clinic (to help cyclists back on the streets) was conducted on August 16 and a handle Bar Survey on August 28. Ahead of the App launch, a free cycle training and workshop was also conducted on August 29.

Kohima–the corridor for Indian, ASEAN market

While Kohima is an iconic city that has etched its name in the history of the modern world, a city which has changed the course of world history, Abu Metha, who was the special guest during the launch of the App, said that the state’s capital Kohima always had the potential to become a world destination.

“We just need to do the right things. It is not too big a dream to say that Kohima can become a world city. And why not. We sit on the corridor between in the Indian sub-continent and the world’s great new market– the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region on our east,” said Metha.

With enormous scope and potential, Metha said that the state have the realistic opportunity to be a crucial corridor and connection in the dynamics of the global economy in this century. “This could be our time,” he added.

But for these potentials to translate into reality, Metha urged the need to move into a new era where foundations must be built on transparency and meritocracy.

Further sharing his vision for Kohima to emerge as a world city, Metha imagines a time where quality services are available for all, “especially for those at the bottom of the pyramid”, a place where “there is enough and equal opportunity for all”.

He envisioned Kohima as a city where the vibrant and energetic youth, powered by creativity and innovation become nation builders, where arts and entertainment is thriving, where young minds are creating products and services for humankind to use, a place that welcomes the world with open arms and creates unique memories for all those who visit.

For a dream that the entire Nagaland and all Nagas envisions, he concluded saying that no dream should be too big to imagine but to realize it, the right things be done.

Upcoming plans for Cycles4Change

CEO KSDCL Kovi Meyase further informed that in addition to its initiatives, some of the upcoming interventions under the Cycles4Change campaign include conducting a Community-led Bicycle Rental Program next week.

A public Bicycle Pump Track, which will likely be the first of its kind in the North East region will also be inaugurated in few days time. Besdies this, the official Kohima Cycles4Change Promotional Video will also be launched.

The Cycles4Change mobile application which was launched on Friday is available for download on google playstore.

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