Too heavy, solar-powered rickshaws are off the road
The solar-powered rickshaws, launched amid much fanfare last year, are gathering dust. The rickshaw pullers, who were allotted these rickshaws, have given them back to the Municipal Corporation.
The rickshaw-pullers had complained that the rickshaws were heavy compared to the usual rickshaws. Also, it was not possible to use them after 40 kilometres, as the battery emptied by then and it took almost a day to charge it again.
"The rickshaw-pullers were facing several problems. They were also against the MC's decision to charge a rent of Rs 500 per month," a senior official of the civic body said. "They had complained that the rickshaw were heavy and wanted some changes to be made. We are discussing the issue with the Science and Technology department to find a solution."
The project was aimed at reducing the labour of a rickshaw-puller. Around Rs 15 lakh was spent on the project.
Joint Commissioner of the civic body, T P S Phoolka, however, said, "The rickshaws have been deposited because the rickshaw-pullers have gone back home. Once they are back, they will start pulling them again. They were trained to cycle these rickshaws."
Ten solar-powered rickshaws were given to the Municipal Corporation by the Science and Technology department in December last year.
The MC had given five of these rickshaws to rickshaw-pullers after selecting them on the basis of the time they had been pulling rickshaws in the city.