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Activists demand e-rickshaws to complement train services in south Mumbai | Mumbai News – Times of India



MUMBAI: With a huge demand for autorickshaws in suburbs and ridership up to 50 lakh, transport experts have petitioned the government, demanding permission for electric autos in the island city. The experts say the e-rickshaws make no noise which is an important factor and, more importantly, they carry more people per sqm of road space than cars.
They further said that e-autos can make more trips in a day and carry about 100 people a day compared to cars which barely carry 6 to 8 persons and which are parked for longer time than autos. The activists have suggested that agencies connected with traffic should spend time in studying statistics, traffic count, usership pattenrs by vehicles and areas and then plan the overall strategy.
“The e-auto fleet can complement the railway service on Main and Harbour lines in island city,” said transport analyst Ashok Datar, who is pushing for e autos in island city.
However, another group of activists is against any such move. At present, autos are only allowed to ply in eastern and western suburbs of Mumbai and are not permitted in island city areas which fall between Sion/Mahim and Colaba. Transport activist A V Shenoy said, “There are narrow lanes in most parts of SoBo and it will lead to massive congestion. So no three-wheelers should be introduced irrespective of whether they are electric or non-electric.”
According to Datar, electric autos will be affordable, noiseless and environment- friendly, and one can hire them for low fare on share routes outside railway stations.
Citizens, and even taxi drivers have opposed the entry of autos in island city. “If autos are allowed entry, the roads will become a motorist’s nightmare,” said activist Gaurang Vora, a resident of island city. “It will increase congestion, hamper traffic movement, lead to road indiscipline and also result in noise pollution.” Taxi union leaders said that autos will create chaos near station areas, and also infringe on their parking spaces.
A transport official said that the issue was discussed on several occasions in the pas at different fora.
“We had concluded that there should be no autos in the island city as it could lead to indiscipline,” the official said.



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