Cuttack, Oct 26 (LocalWire) In a novel way, the Cuttack district administration is making efforts to rejuvenate inimitable cycle-rickshaws, the centuries old transport system in this millennium city, by pressing them into service during Baliyatra next month.
“We look forward to take the visitors on a nostalgic trip to Balijatra by rickshaws which are fading fast owing to advent of state-of-the art vehicles”, Cuttack district collector Bhawani Shankar Chayani said.
Chayani, who held consultation with the operators on Friday to firm up the plan of rickshaw-ride to Balijatra, said rickshaws are still a strong pillar of public transport system in the city as the rickshaw pullers have the expertise to ferry passengers through its scores of narrow lanes and by-lanes.
The beautifully decorated rickshaws branded as ‘Mo Cuttack Balijatra Rickshaw’, with a banner in green background and written in white attached to the passenger carriers, will take visitors by wading through a sea of humanity to the closest possible points of Balijatra venue.
“This is part of the district administration’s efforts to reduce vehicular movement and resultant pollution during mega event”, the collector said.
Now there are 1500 registered rickshaws operating in the city. The administration has asked all operators to complete registration of their rickshaws soon and furnish their contact number, address and photograph for issue of identity cards after thorough verification of their antecedents. They will be provided identical T-shirts as well for easy identification.
Meanwhile, all rickshaw pullers will undergo etiquette training. If a passenger approaches for a ride, he or she should be paid due respect and will not indulge in argument while settling the fair.
The administration will also ensure that passengers are not over-charged for which it will fix point-to-point fair in consultation with operators. Parking places will be allotted for rickshaws during their stay at the event.
“We have requested the operators to ensure that rickshaw pullers are not drunk while taking passengers to Balijatra,” said Chayani.
All operators have been asked to keep their rickshaws ride-ready before Balijatra. The district collector will also visit Balijatra with his wife in a rickshaw. Moreover, 20 rickshaws will be identified for ferrying important public figures and guests to Balijatra.
“We welcome this initiative because Balijatra has provided an excellent opportunity to the administration to felicitate rickshaw pullers for their years-long contribution to local transport system. Rickshaws will help reduce pollutions in a mega fair like Balijatra,” said Sarat Chandra Senapati, Secretary, Cuttack Rickshaw Operators’ Association.
“At a time when tech savvy people talk about state-of-the art vehicles, this effort of Cuttack district administration is praiseworthy.
It will not only help rickshaw pullers but help curb pollution at Baliyatra to a great extent. The inimitable rickshaw pullers will get an opportunity to relive their past glory.
said Sailendra Kumar Sahoo, a regular visit to the annual mega event said. eom