Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dial-a-rickshaw service for OMR ?

Prompted by  a media write-up on Green Rickshaw, Mr Gopalan R and I did some loud thinking at OMR Greens meeting on Sat. at Mantri's front-lawns. Idea is  to promote dial-a-rickshaw service to cover short distances, between and within residential communities on OMR.

Navdeep Asija, founder of  Ecocabs, says a steel-frame, lighter weight three-wheeler that they have designed costs between Rs.13,500 and Rs.15,000 in Punjab. OMR Greens members could identify three unemployed local youths - in Padur-Kelambakkam area - willing  become self-employed owner-rickshaw operators, with help from OMR Greens. If an aspirant rickshaw-owner raises Rs.5,000 for a green rickshaw, OMR Greens could consider loaning him the other Rs.10,000, interest-free, and repayable on easy terms.

This is the Green Wheels programme that OMR Greens could initiate. To start with, we aspire to help  three unemployed local youth in getting rickshaws..The rickshaws, funded with OMR Greens loan, would be painted green, and carry Green Wheels logo. The rickshaw-owners would get the benefit of interest-free loan for promoting the green cause through their vehicle.

Loan requirement of Rs.30,000, for three rickshaws can be raised through contribution by OMR Greens members, repayable when rickshaw loans are repaid. If OMR Greeners are willing, their amounts can be ploughed back for helping some more unemployed youths.

Hopefully, the three green wheel, light-weight rickshaws we introduce in Padur-Kelambakkam area, would prompt others to introduce dial-a-rickshaw service elsewhere on OMR .

As of now, auto-rickshaws charge Rs.50 for a trip from Padur to kelambakkam; Rs.40 from Mantri gate to Chettinad Hospital; Rs.30 from Padur Hindustan University stand to X S Real apartments adjacent to Mantri synergy. If we  Green wheel rickshaws charge two-thirds of the auto-fare, it will still be to the advantage of both rickshaw-owner and his customers.

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