45128 54072634 - India introduces battery powered cycle rickshaws
The Kolkata authorities introduce battery-powered rickshaws with an aim to reduce human effort.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) recently introduced battery -powered rickshaws in Kolkata city of India s eastern West Bengal state with an aim to reduce human labour.

It is for the first time that zero carbon-emitting vehicles have been introduced in the city. These battery-powered rickshaws provided with pedal mode use electrical form of energy at the initial stage giving the rickshaw a maximum speed of 18km/hour.

Rickshaw puller Sanjiv Das says Solekshaws are easier to ride as the battery can be charged. "They ride these battery rickshaws. The new rickshaw that has come out has a battery system. There is less pressure on the rider," says Das.
Debabrata Majumdar, councillor of ward no. 97 and mayor-in-council of KMC has said rickshaws have been the mode of transport in Kolkata for many years.

The rickshaw pullers suffer from fatigue after they ride the rickshaws for 8-10 hours a day. The Solekshaw is an ideal solution, as the human effort would be reduced. "Most of our primary transport system is of primitive age that is still pulled by the human beings. To substitute that, this types of solar rickshaws have been developed. One feature is that human efforts will be reduced. It will be replaced by the energy. Secondly this energy is eco-friendly," said Majumdar.

Each battery-operated rickshaw costs around rupees 30,000. The rickshaws have been handed over to rickshaw pullers free of cost but they have to pay the maintenance charges. Though the battery is charged by conventional electricity at present, in the future it could be recharged using solar energy.