Ad-on-rickshaw promises better income, pullers rejoice

Posted on 11th December 2010 in The Tribune
GS Paul
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, December 10

To give a fillip to the newly-launched eco-rickshaw, the Amritsar administration has chalked out a special ‘revenue plan’ for those who would ply them.

With the release of the second batch of 60 more green rickshaws, the administration has allowed them to carry advertisements.

The rates have been fixed at Rs 450 per month for single advertisements, which would be affixed on a specially created rectangular frame at the back end of the rickshaw.

Deputy Commissioner Kahn Singh Pannu said the income generated through advertisements would go to the rickshaw puller’s pocket. “It would be an additional income for the rickshaw puller. It will fetch them anything between Rs 4,000 to 6,000 per annum”, he said. Talks are under progress with a number of companies and my endeavour would be to extricate the maximum amount for advertisements”, he said.

When Amarjit Singh, plying ordinary rickshaws on rent for the past 20 years, was told about this new offer of the administration, he was on cloud nine.

“It looks to be a lucrative offer. Earlier, I was a bit hesitant about raising a loan to switch over to the new eco-rickshaw but with this offer, I suppose that it may fit into my budget, because the installment for the new rickshaw would easily be churned out now”, he said.

Another rickshaw-puller Ram Narayan, who has a family of four to support, too planned to own a new eco-rckshaw. “Now, my dream to own a rickshaw is not far. Earlier, I used to manage between Rs 35 to Rs 45 per day as rent, but now I can think of buying my own eco-rickshaw, as through the advertisement panel, I may be able to earn some extra money”, he said.

The district administration has tied up with certain banks to offer special easy loan facility. The aspirants for this vehicle would have to furnish a cross guarantee formality to avail the loaning facility on it.

“This rickshaw would cost about Rs 9,000. We have tied up with the Punjab National Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce, which have offered to extend loans at just 4 per cent rate of interest. We have received above 50 applications and six such cases would be processed today only. At present, we have been getting it manufactured from a Delhi-based company, but seeing its popularity, as many as six local cycle rickshaw manufacturers have offered to make more improved versions of eco-rickshaws. The market competition would definitely force its rate to fall down”, said DC Pannu.

In yet another first move, the administration has also proposed to introduce accidental insurance schemes for eco-rickshaw drivers, wherein they would have to pay an annual premium of just Rs 50 to be the beneficiary of an assured amount of Rs 1 lakh, to be claimed by his kins, just in case of the accidental death of the bearer.


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