Patiala, October 27
what may be termed as an environment-friendly initiative, Patiala Foundation, an NGO, today launched the Patiala Green Cabs - an eco-friendly rickshaw service, which would be available to user on a telephone call in the royal city of Patiala.
A function in this regard was held at Rajindra Gymkhana and Mahendra Club, where chairman Patiala District Planning Committee Surjit Singh Rakhra and Patiala Divisional Commissioner GS Grewal formally flagged off the rickshaws.
Equipped with FM radio sets and first-aid kits, the rickshaws are made of metal only. "The traditional rickshaw were made of wood having weight of 100-110 kg but the Patiala Green Cabs are made of metal and weigh only 85-90 kg. This will reduce immense physical stress on rickshaw pullers and because of their aerodynamic design, it will be easier to ply," said, Ravee Singh Aahluwalia, the general secretary of Patiala Foundation and the brainchild behind the project.
Aahluwalia said one rickshaw would cost them Rs 9,700 and they are getting them manufactured from a unit in Meerut (Uttar Pradesh). "We have divided Patiala city into 12 zones and every zone would spread over an area of 1.5-km radius. To begin with we have launched the project in one zone of Leela Bhawan, where 10 such rickshaws will ply," he said, while adding that they would be giving these rickshaws to the rickshaw pullers at a nominal daily rent of Rs 20.
"We would be providing uniform, identity card and health insurance of Rs 1 lakh to a rickshaw puller and if there is no complaint of the rickshaw pullers plying the Patiala Green Cabs for a period of 15 months, the rickshaw puller will be given the ownership of the rickshaw," said Aahluwalia. He further said the entire project was being funded by their NGO and gradually the project would be implemented in entire city. "The basic idea is to project the Patiala Green Cabs to promote eco-friendly, short distance mode of transport, besides offering a sustainable livelihood to rickshaw pullers also," he added.