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Eco-friendly ride: You can soon travel by solar autos in Thane

Apart from reducing air and noise pollution, these e-rickshaws will benefit women auto drivers as the municipal body will pay interest on the loan that they take to purchase these rickshaws.

mumbai Updated: Feb 08, 2018 01:12 IST
Priyanka Dhomse
Priyanka Dhomse
Hindustan Times
Eco-friendly ride,travel,solar autos
The e-rickshaws can accommodate six to seven passengers and will reduce air and noise pollution (Praful Gangurde/HT)

Auto rickshaws powered by solar energy will soon be a reality in the city with the Thane Municipal Corporation introducing e-rickshaws.

Apart from reducing air and noise pollution, these e-rickshaws will benefit women auto drivers as the municipal body will pay interest on the loan that they take to purchase these rickshaws.

“The e-rickshaw introduced by the social welfare department of the TMC, has been approved by the government. The rickshaw has four batteries and has the capacity of running around 100km after eight hours of charging. The cost of the solar auto is around Rs1.7 lakh to Rs1.8 lakh,” said a senior TMC official.

According to the official, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) licence and permit is not required for running the e-rickshaws. The RTO will provide meters for these autos.

“In Thane, there are around 80 women auto drivers. However, if these women purchase the solar auto, the TMC will help them in paying the interest of the loan. If the total interest is around 12%, the loan holder has to pay 7% of the total interest, while the remaining will be paid by the TMC. Though the rickshaws are open to both men and women auto drivers, women auto drivers or the ones connected with ‘Bacchat Gats’ (women self-help groups) will be preferred,” said Shankar Patole, assistant commissioner and head of the social welfare department, TMC.

According to the official, the solar autorickshaw or e-rickshaw can accommodate six to seven passengers. They will have the same fares as normal autos.

“A sample e-rickshaw is available with the TMC. They were manufactured in Uttarakhand. Anyone willing to purchase them can approach the social welfare department,” said an official.

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 01:12 IST