Avon Cycle Plant in Bihar by late this year

Chandigarh, June 21 (PTI) Bicycle maker Avon Cycles today said it plans to set up a bicycle assembly plant in Bihar following the invitation by the state government for the same. “We will set up an assembly unit in Bihar by the end of this year on the invitation of Bihar government,” Avon Cycles managing director Onkar Singh Pahwa told PTI. The Rs 500 crore company would initially set up an assembly plant with a capacity of 1,000-1,500 units per day due to the absence of ancillary units and supporting infrastructure in Bihar. “Unlike in Ludhiana, there is no ancillary unit for bicycles which is essential for setting up a full fledged manufacturing plant. Therefore, we will first have an assembly plant there while components will be sourced from Ludhiana,” he said. The Bihar government had approached Avon Cycles and Hero Cycles to establish their facilities at Hazipur in Bihar. The state government has been ordering bulk supply of bicycles under its ‘Balika Cycle Yozna’, wherein it distributes bicycles free of cost to girls. According to cycle makers, the state will order for the supply of 13 lakh bicycles during the current fiscal. Punjab has become the biggest beneficiary of the orders as only Ludhiana district accounts for 85 per cent of country’s bicycle and bicycle parts output, which is pegged at 1.25 crore per annum in the country. Avon Cycles Group supplies two lakh bicycles annually to Bihar. Hero Cycles has also acknowledged Bihar government’s invitation for setting up of a unit. “We are examining the proposal but have still not decided yet (on setting up of a plant),” Hero Cycles Director S K Rai said. Notably, Ludhiana’s bicycle industry, which has been passing through rough patch due to sluggish demand, is expecting highest ever orders to supply 40 lakh bicycles this fiscal to a number of states under different state sponsored schemes. Karnataka and Jharkhand governments have already placed orders with the bicycle industry for supplying 13 lakh bicycles and orders for 27 lakh bicycles are likely to be placed soon. Various states including Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh annually place orders for supply