The launch of e-rickshaws ‘by women for, women’ was marred by a collision between two e-rickshaws On Tuesday, casting doubts on the proficiency of women drivers. They were seen struggling to manoeuvre the eco-friendly battery-operated vehicles that cost Rs 1 lakh each.
After three months of delay, the 11 pink-coloured e-rickshaws finally hit the road in the presence of Punjab irrigation minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon at the Circuit House.
The scheme, meant to improve women’s safety on roads, was to be launched on Baisakhi. But the lack of qualified women drivers kept pushing the deadline further. The Ludhiana administration, facilitator of the project, was desperately looking for women who were trained.
SOME DRIVERS NOT WELL-TRAINED
Despite two months of training, some women were exposed to be lacking in proper driving skills. The administration has given them two more days to get accustomed to the new vehicles before they start ferrying passengers.
Even before Dhillon reached the venue, the women drivers were spotted facing difficulty in reversing the vehicles to bring them onto the red carpet. One of the e-rickshaws banged into a stationary Bolero jeep owned by a government official. No damage was reported.
Many of them kept missing their keys even after repeatedly being reminded by officials to take them along as they left the vehicle.
HIGH DRAMA COLLISION
The highlight of the event was the collision between two vehicles. One e-rickshaw was left with a broken rearlight. It was soon shifted to a workshop for repair.
While some drivers received training for two months, others have only had a week of training to go by.
One of the drivers Meena Rani, 40, said she had learnt to drive these vehicles only a week back. “I have been riding an Activa for years now and can drive in traffic,” she said.