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Maharashtra government writes to Centre, wants e-rickshaws at Matheran

It has asked the Union government to amend a notification it issued 15 years ago.

mumbai Updated: Mar 13, 2018 17:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
mumbai,matheran,ecology
A notification it issued on February 4, 2003, declared Matheran as an eco-sensitive zone and restricted the entry of motorized vehicles. (HT file photo)

Tourists may now be able to travel in battery operated e-rickshaw instead of horses or hand-pulled carts at Matheran, the famous hill station located about 100 kilometers from Mumbai, if the Union government agrees to amend a notification it issued 15 years ago.

The Maharashtra government recently wrote to the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), requesting it to amend the notification it issued on February 4, 2003, which declared Matheran as an eco-sensitive zone and restricted the entry of motorized vehicles.

The state government, in its letter, pointed out that citizens face several hardships, particularly in cases of emergencies,as they have no option to travel except horses.

According to officers in the Mantralaya, the proposal came from the Raigad district collector, on request of Matheran residents.

Satish Gavai, additional chief secretary of the department, could not be reached for the comment.

According to the collector’s proposal, Matheran city council, Matheran Eco-Sensitive Area committee and the transport department have given the green signal for the introduction of e-rickshaws. It also represented for allowing tractors for solid waste management.

Local residents and rickshaw puller unions have been demanding the introduction of eco-friendly, noiseless and smokeless e-rickshaws for several years. Matheran city council had passed a resolution to introduce e-rickshaws in December 2012.

Sunil Shinde, a local resident, said it would help rickshaw pullers by ending the need for the profession and restore their dignity.

“Students, senior citizens, women, and tourists, who come late night will benefit the most,” he added.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 10:47 IST