The Central Government Enterprise, Central Electronics Limited (CEL), which happens to be the pioneer in the country when it comes to aspects that concern the areas of solar photovoltaics, ferrites and piezoceramics.
This very Central Government agency has provided solar-powered hybrid rickshaw to the rickshaw-pullers at IIT Delhi, under a corporate social responsibility initiative, ten such rickshaws were handed to rickshaw pullers. The move will indeed bring a sigh of relief to many a rickshaw pullers in the IIT Delhi campus including Suresh Kumar, one such rickshaw owner in the IIT Delhi campus, pedalling since 2002.
It will reduce the physical effort of rickshaw pullers
Special 300 Watt specially designed solar panels designed and manufactured by CEL will be used on the roof of these rickshaws. “These panels, which are loaded throughout the day, will effectively double the distance that rickshaws can cover in a day. Therefore, not only will it reduce the physical effort of rickshaw pullers, but it will also help them earn more,” an official said to The Times Of India.
Ram Gopal Rao, IIT Delhi’s director declared this as a combined instance of technology, tradition and empathy coming together for a social cause “This innovation combines traditional knowledge and modern technology to create harmony between the environment, employment needs and comfort.”
The IIT director added that “Although people used to feel bad about the work of the rickshaw pullers, our point was if we asked them to stop what will happen to their livelihoods. Calling it a good start, he added that these rickshaw pullers had been operating within IIT since 2002-03. We are already using solar energy on the roof as we produce 2MW of electricity.”
Kamlesh Kumar (45), who is from UP, agrees. “Help ho jayega, press kam parega,” said the rickshaw shooter with a smile.
Hybrid vehicles are meant to operate only within the campus
“However, these vehicles can only circulate within the campus. These hybrid rickshaws can not be registered under motor vehicle law. Previously, we tried to manage 150 of these in Sahibabad, Ghaziabad. But the police used to challenge them. We hope to see a policy change after this movement,” Kumar said.
Smart Solar Rickshaws handed over to rickshaw pullers in IITD campus by Central Electronics Limited under CSR program as part of their pilot project. These rickshaws run with combination of Solar, Human & Conventional Electrical Power (optional) and will ply inside the campus. pic.twitter.com/ltYLLQlGBY
— IIT Delhi (@iitdelhi) July 19, 2019
Technical Specs and Price
The Ideal speed of the vehicle is 10-15 KM/hour, the motors that are imported from China will help these Vehicles in reaching up to 25 km, the manufacturers told. While the E-Rickshaw costs about Rs. 1.25 Lakhs, the hybrid vehicle will be priced around Rs. 68000.
The Logical Indian take
The decision is a welcome move for sure, and the authorities do deserve a pat of appreciation on their backs for such a clinical yet effective solution. The solution not only aims at optimum utilisation of a natural resource, it will also help the hard-working rickshaw puller’s work a lot easier.
With the rapid depletion of non-renewable resources, the natural resources have to be the way ahead and it is high time now, that we finally understand the same and try to introduce changes at the grassroots level, It is we, the common men, who need to raise our hands up and perhaps take that extra bit of responsibility for conserving the environment.
It can be achieved by planting trees, using public transport, denying the use of plastics, but at the end of the day, eventually, it will be us, inducing such change.