Vehicle-free weekends at Chamundi Hills on the anvil?
Mysuru: Last weekend, an experimental move to make Nandi Hills an eco-friendly zone saw motor vehicles banned from entering the area, while only those on foot or on cycles let up the Hills between 5 am and 9 am. The move, we hear, has caught the attention of authorities in Mysuru, who are looking at following suit at Chamundi Hills. Given the increased interest in cycling in namma Mysuru, authorities have made arrangements for geared bicycles with docking stations to be set up at the foothills as part of the public bicycle sharing system, Trin Trin.
Speaking to Mysore Times, Deputy Director of Tourism Department, HP Janardhan, says, “We are chalking out plans to make Chamundi Hills an eco-friendly destination, but we are still not sure whether to provide high-end bicycles on hire or allow people to bring their own bicycles to pedal up the Hills during weekends. The helipad area can be used as a parking lot.”
Supporting the idea, an adventure enthusiast attached to the Tiger Adventure Foundation, Tiger Solanki, says, “It would a great initiative even if they can ban vehicle movement on Sunday mornings for a few hours, as the number of cyclists are more then. Completely banning vehicle movement may prevent tourists from visiting Chamundi Hills, which could have an adverse impact on the tourism industry. For trekkers, it doesn’t matter whether vehicle movement is allowed or not. There are two trek trails to Chamundi Hills — a pony trail and another one near the steps.” Endorsing his views, cyclist Charan Raj Jagadeesh, says, “Chamundi Hills is a favourite destination for cyclists, but there are no dedicated cycle lanes which is a potential risk for cyclists going up Chamundi Hills. If vehicles are completely banned during weekends, it would be a perfect paradise for cycling.”