Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Say bye to bumpy rickshaw ride Eco-friendly, safe rickshaws to ply on Amritsar roads

Amritsar, October 5

A quiet revolution is in the offing for users of public transport in the holy city of Amritsar. Unsafe cycle rickshaws will soon be replaced by specially designed eco-friendly cycle rickshaws, thanks to the state Tourism Department's initiative. In a first-of-its-kind feature, the new rickshaw will be equipped with a small FM stereo, fixed in an intelligently designed space beneath the roof. The control panel of the FM would be at the disposal of the passengers.

Made of a green steel frame, contrasting with a yellow canvas canopy, this rickshaw is an eco-friendly mode of transport. It is lighter in weight in comparison to the traditional rickshaws. The safety aspect is the highlight of the new model.

The approach to the passenger seat has been kept low. The two steps offer an advantage for elders, ladies and children. It has also been equipped with a seat safety belt and there is also a provision for a first-aid box kit, newspapers and a small trash box at the back to avoid littering on the road .

Additional luggage space under the passenger seat too would add to the comfort of the passengers.

Manufactured by a Delhi-based firm, the Punjab government has ordered 10 rickshaws at present. The vehicles are being assembled on the premises of the Red Cross Bhawan.

The Deputy Commissioner Amritsar, KS Pannu, elaborated on the detailing of the cycle rickshaw. The canopy has been designed in a way that it would give an impression of the heritage arch of the Khalsa College building. Unlike ordinary rickshaws, it weighs around 65 kg, against the 100 kg weight of existing ordinary rickshaws. The number wooden components used has been reduced. Hollow steel pipes have been used to frame it. Mango wood, which is lighter in weight has been used as a support beneath the seat and the backrest.

The idea of introducing new rickshaws was conceptualised by the Department of Tourism, Punjab, and the Amritsar administration. The services of Graduates' Welfare Association, Fazilka, were engaged to implement the project. The rickshawpullers were excited with the new venture and felt that their dream of owning a rickshaw could be fulfilled. 

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