Friday, August 5, 2011

Punjab rides on ecocabs to conserve environment


Punjab cycle industry is all geared up to be an eco friendly. Ludhiana-based cycle major HiBird has started a new 'EcoCab' initiative that is aimed at revamping the ordinary rickshaw and promoting it as a major energy-saving form of transportation.

"In existing rickshaw, mainly wood material has been used specially for the rear structure, but we have avoided use of wood. Secondly, we have made the Rickshaw so attractive in looks, comfortable for the passenger, easy and light weight for the puller so that people love riding on the new rickshaw," informed R D Sharma, Chairman of HiBird Safari Group.

Earlier around 30 kilogram wood was used in a single rickshaw and there was no resale value of the vehicle, but as steel is a metal and value of metals increases over time, it has a high resale value even after many years. Sharma said the eco-rickshaw used high tenfile pipes that reduced the weight of the vehicle by almost 50 kilogram.

These rickshaws have been made to look attractive with more comfortable seats, a special kid seat, seat belts, provision of a FM radio. After independence, when almost all modes of transports went through a drastic change, the rickshaw was one vehicle that remained unchanged. 

Till 1950, the rickshaw constituted only two wheels and the rickshaw puller had to work hard in pulling the rickshaw. After 1950, the third wheel was introduced and the burden became a little less. But even then, pulling a 105-110 kilogram weighing vehicle, laden with at least 50-60 kilogram of additional load, is something that is quite unacceptable. But the rickshaw-pullers have been doing so," informed Navdeep Asija, founder of the EcoCab Concept.

One of the major reasons for the introduction of the Ecocab is that the demand of the rickshaw was going down and as the eco-friendly means of transport was being faced by the problem of accessibility and quality of the rickshaw.

"While the dial a rickshaw service is aimed at tackling the accessibility problem, Hi-bird Safari Group has helped in making the product qualitative by taking this social project, to a corporate level. The non-motorised and personalised mode of transport has picked up ever since its launch and after the initial start from Fazilka, it is now popular in Amritsar, Patiala, Ludhiana, Malaut, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar, Faridkot and many other districts of Punjab," informed Asija.

He said one important feature of the EcoCab is that it cost Rs 9,500 inclusive of taxes and the rickshaw pullers could own a rickshaw in 14-15 months, by saving only Rs 20 per day as the government had provided the special differential rate of interest (DRI) scheme to the people below the poverty line (BPL)

Suresh Sharma, Executive Director, HiBird Group, said that each and every component of Hi-Bird Rickshaw has been manufactured under ISO norms checked in well-equipped technical and chemical labs.

No comments: