Trials for electric rickshaws at Matheran kickstart
Matheran City Council held a trial run for rickshaws on Wednesday, which will continue for the next three months, said Surekha Bhange, CEO of the council. According to Bhange, the decennial census shows a decline in the region’s population density, with a current population of just over 4,000.
“The migration of residents from the city of Matheran is rapid because the main reason is that everyone wants good connectivity, employment and education. Due to a lack of means of transport, students staying in Matheran have to walk 4 to 5 km to reach their school. It’s the same case with office goers. As a result, they are moving to neighboring towns like Badlapur and Karjat,” Bhange said, adding that Matheran is witnessing a sharp drop in population, which needs to be controlled and electric rickshaws will play a major role in this. . “Citizens of Matheran will get major travel relief once the electric rickshaws are deployed,” she said.
Matheran City Council launched the electric rickshaw lawsuit following Supreme Court (SC) orders in May this year. In accordance with the decree of the SC, the municipal council has launched a call for expressions of interest to acquire the vehicles. However, the follow-up committee of Matheran had suggested that before procuring the vehicles, interested companies should demonstrate their electric rickshaw model and only after that the purchase should be made.
“Six companies had expressed interest in the Expression of Interest, while five companies conducted the demonstration on Wednesday. Now, after final approval, three to four electric rickshaws will be procured to carry out trials for a period of three months,” Bhange said, adding that the trial is very crucial given Matheran’s terrain.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Metropolitan Area Development Authority (MMRDA) is carrying out the Matheran revamp project which includes upgrading of lanes with eco-friendly terracotta paving blocks, installation of railings for security and a wall of gabions to curb soil erosion, in addition to improving the parking lot. The overall cost of the project stands at Rs 80 crore and only 20% of the project works remain, according to an MMRDA official who requested anonymity.