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Old 9th February 2005, 18:03   #1
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Default Are AutoRickshaws more trouble than help?

It would be a rare urban indian, who has not seen/travelled in/cursed auto-rickshaws in his/her life. They are just so omnipresent.

Automobile industry in India has shown gradual progress in last couple of decades, be it cars or bikes or scooters/mopeds (even trucks). Is there anything changed with 3 wheelers? They now have 4 stroke engines as compared to 2 stroke ones earlier, engines have shifted place from front to rear and options are available both in diesel and petrol. Is that enough?

They continue to be almost equally air / noise polluting. Inherently unstable 3 wheeler design is prone to accidents, especially with small turning radius. There are no safety concerns, virtually non-existent suspension system and no concept of vibration damping in case of diesel variants. To top it all, they are driven by near maniacs, fondly known as "rickshawalas".

How relevant are they in today's fast paced, fast growing chaotic metros? They can not be dumped because everyone needs them every now and then. Is there no way to improve this? I really pity 6 seater drivers in Pune, who were penalised for no fault of them. The manufacturers minted money by selling those carbon emitting vehicles, while poor drivers/owners lost their livelyhood. Wish, better sense will prevail in concerned government authorities to enforce more stringent norms on manufacturers.
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