WOW! checks out the Healthway cycling track, a first-of-its-kind sustainable and dedicated path for cyclists near Hyderabad’s Outer Ring Road (ORR)
Hyderabad is not only the city of the Metro, flyovers and underpasses, but also now home to India’s longest dedicated bicycle track spread over a whopping 23 kms.
Pushing cycling as a sustainable alternative to driving and traffic jams is Healthway — the three-lane track that has two stretches — 8.5 kms from Nanakramguda to Telangana State Police Academy (TSPA) and 14.5 kms from Kollur to Narsingi — converging at Narsingi Junction. It offers three dedicated lanes and is protected on both sides.
With four access points at Nanakramguda, Narsingi, TSPA and Kollur, it allows cyclists to enter and exit the track from most parts of the city at leisure and ride amidst greenery. Each access point is equipped with CCTV surveillance and essential amenities such as first-aid stations, hygienic restrooms, adequate lighting, high-quality track surfaces and protection from vehicular traffic.
The cycling stretch inspired by the South Korean bike highway with solar panels also includes car parking, cycle repairs and rentals and food trucks, which will be operational soon. Healthway was built with a budget of Rs 95 crore, is 4.5 meters wide, allowing cyclists to ride alongside comfortably.
A major highlight of the project is its sustainability factor in the form of 16MW solar panels fixed on the roof. In addition, infrastructure will also be developed to ensure good illumination on the track during the early hours of the day and at night. The power requirements for the lighting is to be generated from solar-panelled roofs making the project self-sustainable.
Ashmitha Reddy of Hyderabad Bicycling Club calls this a welcome move. “Each day we hear of traffic jams which last for hours. It is a great move that is very useful to those living in the Financial District and I hope, people are cognizant of how the use of cycles is holistic – from personal health to climate change, they help in more ways than one.”
The stations have a total of 850 bicycle parking spaces, including 375 for rental parking. Future plans include introducing more sporting amenities such as skating rinks, tennis and badminton courts, sporting retail stores and more at the Narsingi hub as part of the second phase of development.
The opening of this cutting-edge solar-covered cycle track represents a remarkable achievement for Hyderabad, not only promoting a healthy and eco-friendly mode of transportation, but also making significant strides in sustainable energy production.
Timings: 5 am to 8 pm on all days
Pro tip: Best time is to cycle on weekdays when the crowds are less