Balwant Garg, TNN, June 27, 2011
MOGA: In Moga, a rickshaw is now just a call away. Moga district administration on Sunday launched the eco-rickshaw cab facility in the city.
Five rickshaw cabs were given to poor beneficiaries for plying on congested city roads. Starting in Fazilka three years back, `eco cabs` is the name given to traditional Indian rickshaw operations that are organized into a network that customers can directly call up. Fazilka, a border town in Ferozepur district with a population of less than one lakh, is the first city in the world to have a dial-a-rickshaw facility.
Fazilka DC V N Zade said all the beneficiaries were provided these cabs at a nominal interest rate of 4% by Punjab and Sind Bank. Every bank in Moga district has been asked to finance at least five eco-cab rickshaws. Abhinav Trikha, ADC Moga, said, "The beneficiary has to simply give a request to the district development agency and it would be forwarded to the district lead bank."
Some beneficiaries covered under the scheme said earlier, they had to pay Rs 20 per day as rent to ply the rickshaw on a routine basis, but now, they had to pay only Rs 200 per month as loan instalment. "Eco cabs are a low-cost solution to one of the key transport dilemmas in any urban area," said Navdeep Asija, an IIT graduate who belongs to Fazilka and is a leading force behind introduction of eco cabs in this border town.
The eco cabs scheme allows people to call up rickshaw drivers to direct them as to where they are needed. The concept has been promoted as `dial-a-rickshaw`. With an order of Punjab &Haryana High Court, the concept which originated in Fazilka three years ago was fully adopted by both Punjab and Haryana governments.