E-autos pave way for smarter efforts

Aundh-Baner-Balewadi has seen a number of these pollution-free vehicles that have hit the streets under the smart cities initiative
It seems the fruits of the smart ci ties initiative can already be reaped by Punekars as electronic autorickshaws (e-autos) -an ecofriendly project to tackle pollution -has hit the streets. The Aundh-Baner-Balewdi area that has been selected for developmental work under the initiative has witnessed a number of these pollutionfree, battery-operated vehicles on the road. Currently, 25 such four-seater autos have been made available by two different groups and locals can avail the transport for just Rs 10. Nana Walke, social activist and owner of 10 autos, said, “Ten such e-autos -four in Aundh and three each in Baner and Balewadi -are now functional. On an average, each of the vehicles run 80 kms daily and, as it is run on electricity, costs per month run upto Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200.“ Explaining the need for such an initiative, he added, “I came to know that there are some auto drivers, who running autorickshaws illegally. So, this initiative is an attempt to give them an income source. We have also provided a helpline number (8888888148) so that people can call an auto. We have received very good response from locals and have plans to expand.“Another service, which is limited to Aundh, known as `Aundh local’ has been started by advocate Madhukar Musale. He said, “We are running this e-auto service for the past one year now and have around 5,000 registered members from the area so far.The service has become quite popular, especially among senior citizens. Often, people have to travel a short distance, so we started this e-auto service for them.“ Locals using the e-auto service are happy with this cheap and safe way of travelling. Manisha Gokhale from Baner said, “Many times, we have to go to nearby places, but autos refuse to travel short distances. I often call the e-autos, which is affordable and safe.“ Another passenger, Mandar Karhade, said, “It is quite nice to travel in these autos, but as they are less in number, we often have to wait for half an hour for them.“

K S Takawale, in-charge of Chatushrungi traffic division, said, “Such autos in the Aundh, Baner and Balewadi areas is very popular among the residents. But safety measures should be followed. If the seating capacity is four, more passengers should not travel in these autos.“

Source : Mirror