Eco-friendly rickshaws could become an alternate public transport in South Mumbai

The eco-friendly e-rickshaws will now ply as a legal mode of transport on city roads. For the public, it means another option for commuting besides auto-rickshaws, tempos and buses. Though battery-powered e-rickshaws were already plying on many routes, they were considered unauthorised as they were not registered with the regional transport office (RTO). The Union ministry of road transport and highways has issued a notification making e-rickshaws as a motorised transport to be regulated under the Motor Vehicles Act. 

As per report published in Hindustan Times, the three-wheelers, which run at a speed of 25kmph, are fast emerging as an eco-friendly substitute to vehicles run on petrol, diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG). Consequently, in its advisory issued on June 9, the Centre has included the Greater Mumbai region, which so far banned the three-wheeler, on the list of cities that are allowed to introduce the facility. This effectively means the regional transport authority can register and issue permits for the vehicles.

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E-rickshaws, the three-wheelers that run at a speed of 25kmph, are fast emerging as an eco-friendly substitute to vehicles run on petrol, diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG). (Image credit: Sunil Ghosh / HT photo) 

“The e-rickshaw will certainly reduce the noise pollution, but it has to be enclosed,” said Ashok Datar, member of Mumbai Transport Forum. Currently, around one lakh three-wheelers operate in the eastern and western suburbs in the city. Apart from Greater Mumbai, introduction of e-rickshaws has been permitted in Nagpur, Nashik, Pune and Mumbai. 

About E-rickshaws
  • The electric autorickshaws or e-rickshaws are pulled by an electric motor with a power of 650- 1400 Watts 
  • They are emerging as an eco-friendly substitute to petrol, diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) autorickshaws
  • Speed of e-rickshaws: 25kmph 
Advantage of E-rickshaws

E-rickshaws have been in use since 2008 as a replacement for auto rickshaws in Asian countries like China, Bangladesh, Japan, and Nepal, and in low numbers in European countries like Switzerland, France, Germany. In India, the concept has started just 4 years back and Delhi is the first state to launch this. It is yet to be launched officially in other states, though you see a few of them here and there in other states as well. Let us consider the advantages of e-rickshaws: 
Eco-friendly: These are battery-operated vehicles and hence can be an excellent alternative to petrol/diesel/CNG-driven vehicles, which cause severe pollution. The e-rickshaws do not emit smoke and hence they are non-polluting. They don’t petrol and diesel.
Economical: Compared to other types of vehicles, e-rickshaws are quite cheap and can easily be afforded by a common man. Not only for the owner, it is also cheap for the passengers as they have to pay less transport charges, compared to the charge they pay for auto-rickshaws or hand-pulled rickshaws.
Easy to drive: These e-rickshaws are easy to drive compared to the tedious task of pulling rickshaws.
No noise pollution: These rickshaws do not make much sound and hence do not add up to the noise pollution. You can enjoy a comfortable ride.
Livelihood: Last but not the least, e-rickshaw is a boon to the common man. Without putting in much physical efforts and without investing much amount of money, the earning is quite good for an e-rickshaw driver and hence it is an important means of livelihood for many. (Source: Hindustan Times)

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