You cannot avoid cycle rickshaws in Jaipur, as is the case of any North Indian city. Cycle rickshaws are an inseparable part of the daily life in this Rajasthan destination. Any one who has been to India would know there is no better option to enjoy the city as a tourist than sitting in the rickshaws racing past cows, sweet shops and more while experiencing all the chaos around. Things have acquired a new green tint of late, with the authorities bringing in eco-friendly solar rickshaws on to the tarmac.
You cannot catch the glimpse of the vibrant colors of the ‘Pink City’ of Incredible India by commuting in a tourist bus or a chauffeur-driven car. But it’s still hard for rickshaw drivers, as their day to day task demands high physical exercise through out the day, though only earning Rs 100-150.
The situation is leaping for a change for both rickshaw drivers and eco-tourism. All credit goes to Mohit Dixit and Sanjay Rathod, the duo who have launched Solarick Tourism Pvt. Ltd (STPL), a company that makes solar-powered rickshaws, back in 2009. Now around 25 eco-friendly rickshaws manufactured by the company are on the streets of Jaipur and Mandawa.
A Mid-Day report says that Solarick claims that they are the pioneers in solar tourism in India. They plan to spread their services in Agra and Varanasi soon. Their next main goal is to develop the living standards of the 800 million cycle rickshaw drivers in the country.
The green rickshaws are powered by solar paneling which requires around six hours of sunlight for charging. It has a range of 45 km at a speed of 20 kmph at one charge. It can comfortably take three passengers at once and can be charged electrically at the time of emergencies. They are availed in different shades, from orange and yellow to red and pink.
The operation is also very easy – as the drivers who used to pedal the vehicle earlier, now just have to kick start a motor, which takes care of the rest of pedaling.
The new rickshaws are sold for Rs 40,000 each, accompanied by a solar panel to charge the rickshaws. The movement has slowly gathered momentum in tourism sector which provides comfortable ride and in the process also reduces carbon footprint. The solar rickshaw is now available for hire to tourists at the rate of Rs 600 to Rs 700 for eight hours. It is also rented out to drivers for Rs 5,000 every month.
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