While, the city’s radio auto-rickshaw service ‘Tuk Tuk’ is on the verge of extincition, a new e-rickshaw service by the name ‘Ruk Ruk’ is creeping into the city.
Initially started as a means to connect the two most visited tourist spots of Chandigarh, Sukhna Lake and Rock Garden, these battery-operator, four-seater red and blue coloured rickshaws are now plying on the city’s arterial roads.
The pollution-free battery operated e-rickshaws are slowly and steadily gaining ground in Chandigarh as an alternative to auto rickshaws and pulled rickshaws because of their fuel cost.
It has seen abrupt rise after fuel crisis loomed large because of economic blockade. The official of the State Transport Authority (STA) said that e-rickshaw was becoming popular and dominated the area of Sukhna Lake and Manimajra-Panchkula.
He further said that as these did not use any petroleum products these are considered environment-friendly.
Currently, over 100 e-rickshaws are in operation in the city since ban imposed on plying of auto rickshaw in the city.
Hem Raj who has just purchased e-rickshaw at a coxt of Rs two lakh and paying Rs 9,000 per month as loan installment. Talking about the advantages of the e-rickshaws, he told the Daily Post these did not need any diesel, petrol, LPG or CNG and were zero emission and equipped with a different design and superficial technical features. “Even to ply these one does not require a driving license and save oneself from the cumbersome process of getting driving license. There is no surprise if in future one may find girls on its driving seat. ” he said.
These are now also being used as goods carriers because of their accessibility, flexibility and affordability, he says.
He further stated that e-rickshaws required eight-hour charging after which it could run for around 80-100 km/per hour. At present, he is managing to charge his rickshaw at his home only as there is no central charging point, he says and adds that it would increase his electricity bill.
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