Amritsar, February 23
As battery operated e-rickshaws gain currency in the city, residents are staring at a new problem: Most rickshaw drivers do not switch on the lights even after it gets dark.
Auto rickshaw drivers often keep the lights switched off to conserve the battery power so that they can use it for covering more kilometers. Other commuters are caught off guard when an e-rickshaw, with the lights off, enters the main road from a side lane.
“While it is understandable that e-rickshaw owners want to get mileage with the battery power. However, by not switching on the lights, they are risking their own lives as well as the safety of other commuters,” rued Kawalpreet Kaur, a resident.
As the government is promoting the use of e-rickshaws under the Rejuvenation of Autorickshaw in Amritsar through Holistic Intervention (RAAHI) project, and is offering a subsidy of Rs 1.25 lakh and assistance in bank loan, the number of battery-operated rickshaws is expected to further rise.
The administration plans to replace at least 12,000 diesel-run auto-rickshaws with the eco-friendly e-rickshaws with an objective to check pollution. The e-rickshaws are also finding favour with the drivers and the commuters as their width is much less than the diesel rickshaws which make it easier for travelling in narrow streets. It is also easier for these e-rickshaws to navigate through traffic jams.
“Everything is good about these e-rickshaws except for the fact that some drivers are not sensitive towards the safety of the commuters as they do not switch on the lights at night,” complained another resident, Gurbinder Singh.
Residents raise alarm
- Auto rickshaw drivers often keep the lights switched off to conserve the battery power so that they can use it for covering more kilometers
- Other commuters are caught off guard when an e-rickshaw, with the lights off, enters the main road from a side lane
- Residents rue that some e-rickshaw drivers are not sensitive towards the safety of the commuters
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