Bengaluru: The free bicycles distributed to high school students by the Karnataka government will now be sent to Ludhiana in Punjab for quality check. The decision to conduct quality checks was taken after the government received several complaints from parents and students regarding the poor quality of the bicycles.

From Bengaluru, Mysuru, Belagavi and Kalaburagi, 10 cycles will be randomly picked and will be sent to the Research and Development Centre for Bicycle and Sewing Machine. The centre is an autonomous institute equipped with laboratories that helps governments and the industry to meet technological and quality requirements.

Reports state that 40 random samples will be sent in total.

HD Kumaraswamy directed primary and secondary education officials to scrap the free bicycle scheme after complaints against the poor quality of bicycles became very common. A decision was later taken to conduct quality checks on the bicycle instead of scrapping the scheme completely. The government began an inquiry to streamline the process and send the bicycles for quality checks as part of the initiative.

Certain requirements have also been laid out for procuring bicycles for school students. Reports state that the new bicycles will be picked randomly and sent to Ludhiana while the block and taluk-level Department of Public Instruction (DPI) officers will inspect the vehicles before handing them over to the students. If the bicycle is found to be defective, it will be sent back to the distributor for rectification. 

One out of a fleet of 25,000 bicycles will undergo a crash test.

The government has made it mandatory to use BIS-certified material for handlebars, tubes and spokes.

The free bicycle scheme was launched by BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa in 2006-07. It was primarily directed towards girl students, who traversed through hilly regions and rough terrain without proper modes of transport. The scheme was later extended to boys.