Rickshaw Panchayat, the largest union of autorickshaw drivers in Pune, launched a ‘Corona Free Rickshaw’ service in the city on Monday. In this service, at least 100 autorickshaws have been modified to allay commuters’ fears of spread of infection by minimising possibility of transmission of Covid-19. The service was green flagged by Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao.
In the modified autorickshaws, there is a transparent separation between the driver and passengers, sanitiser spray has been provided to sanitise the interior surface and seat, and the driver has another sanitiser spray for his personal use apart from a mask and a face shield.
The Rickshaw Panchayat’s convenor, Nitin Pawar, said the initiative was a response to poor ridership in autorickshaws, which have been allowed to ply since August 1. “At present, only 25-30 per cent autorickshaws are on the road. But even these are not getting passengers. Often, an autorickshaw driver who starts work in the morning does not get any passengers until afternoon. A driver earns only Rs 150-200 per day. This is due to fear of catching Covid-19,” said Pawar.
The initiative was started with help from NGOs Parisar and Aqsa. “To help potential users identify ‘Corona Free Rickshaws’, these vehicles will bear stickers,” said Pawar.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines