Residents of Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh district who remain seated on a cycle-rickshaw while going up a steep incline will now be fined Rs 500, an official said on Tuesday.
"I have issued the circular on humanitarian grounds. I think it's inhumane to force the rickshaw-puller to cycle up an ascent with commuters sitting in it," District Magistrate K Ravindra Nayak told IANS.
The circular, issued earlier this month, is expected to come into effect by February. The final modalities of the rule, including defining 'steep roads', are being worked out.
"I want the officials to inform the public about the circular before it is implemented. For this, we have already started distributing pamphlets and putting up posters and banners," he said.
"In the initial phases, only residents of Aligarh will come in the purview of the fine. It's simply because those new to the city may not be aware about the rule," Naik said.
Aligarh residents welcomed the move.
"For me, more than a circular, it is a lesson in humanity. We must not forget that rickshaw-pullers are also human beings. The decision would surely provide a great sense of relief for the rickshaw pullers," said Ashok Navratan, a resident of Azadnagar area.
Said Kuldeep Singh, owner of a mobile shop in Aligarh: "The decision taken by him (Nayak) would be of a great help for the rickshaw-pullers from the health point of view as well."