Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Ray of sunshine for a green Delhi as solar-powered rickshaws are set to take to the road



The Capital is turning green with a vengeance. After promoting the use of electric cars and the use of green technologies, Delhi will soon see the solar-powered rickshaws on its roads. Around 1,000 of these rickshaws, which come in three variants, will be introduced in different parts of the Capital by June. Senior officials of the Delhi government's environment department said the final plan is to increase the number of such rickshaws, also called soleckshaws, to at least 10,000.

The plans also include allowing the use of these rickshaws by licensed operators at key archaeological sites, education institutions, corporate campuses, for waste disposal and in carrying goods in old, congested markets such as Chawri Bazaar, Chandni Chowk and Sadar Bazaar. The state government's environment department is considering a subsidy proposal to these solar-powered (battery fitted) rickshaws that can attain a maximum speed of up to 25 km/hr.

We already provide subsidies to green, battery-powered vehicles that operate in the city. Such vehicles get a 15 per cent subsidy on base price, VAT exemption and road tax refund. A similar proposal is under consideration for these rickshaws,' a senior officer of the state environment department said.The licences of these rickshaws have been approved by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi which will also select the routes (or areas) where they will operate.Government officials said areas where these rickshaws will be introduced in the first phase are Dwarka, Delhi University, Rohini, Pitampura and trans-Yamuna areas (East and North-East Delhi).These rickshaws have been designed and developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) with the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI). These designs are now being manufactured by six manufacturers selected by the government.

The prices of these rickshaws would be:
Metal body framework : INR 45,000
Platic body framework : INR 75,000
Plastic frame with better battery : INR 85,000

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