Team Agnito, in conversation with a leading Automobile Consultant of Bhopal, Neeraj Gulati from Genius (the creative group), who recently successfully redesigned an Auto Rickshaw, which might help put a check to the spreading Corona Virus.
Q. Sir, how did this idea came to your mind, and what made you try this on an Auto Rickshaw of all the vehicles?
Ans. As the nation has entered the Unlock 1 phase, taxis and auto-rickshaws have started plying on the roads in a controlled way, and soon buses will also get a green signal from the authorities. But, people would like to stay away from crowded buses for some more time, and the easiest next option remains an auto-rickshaw. One can hire that at any crossing or market, without loading an app in a smart-phone as one has to do for Ola or Uber.
Q. What are the alterations or additions you have done?
Ans. This vehicle has a small space inside; thus I thought, to make this vehicle safe for the passenger and the driver both, we need a transparent plastic-o-acrylic partition made between the front and rear seat, where both can see each other and interact, at the same time leave no place for air to pass thru and keep the atmosphere inside the cabin clean. This was the first step implemented.
Secondly, fabricated a steel bracket to hold the sanitizer bottle, and fixed it near the left seat, so that the passenger uses it while boarding the auto, and later after making the payment.
Thirdly, another sanitizer bottle is with the driver for his use and to clean the rear seat after every ride.
Finally, he has a small stock of fresh Face masks stored in Auto rickshaw’s glove box, which can be provided to passengers, if he or she needs it.
And I have rechristened this public transport vehicle as SAFE AUTO.
Q. How much these alterations are going to cost, and how much time will it take to fix in one auto?
Ans. As the initial one, was a tedious job, it took me 3 days time and cost around 1800 rupees, but now things are clear, so it should come to approx 1100 only, and will take about 45 minutes to fix, once the order is confirmed, as getting the fitments made will take 4 to 6 hours.
Q. Do you think, an auto-rickshaw driver would like to spend this much amount too?
Ans. We have to convince that this is for your own safety, and if the auto has all these fitments in it, any passenger will like to sit in this one, if he/she has a choice between 3 or 4 auto-rickshaws parked at an auto-rickshaw stand.
Q. This concept is good, but how do you go ahead to make it compulsory for all auto rickshaws?
Ans. Right now, it’s through mouth publicity. The auto I designed, it’s driver directed 3 more autos to me for the same job. I am also forwarding a PPT to health and transport department, to make it mandatory for all such public transport autos and taxis plying on roads. This will definitely help in controlling the coronavirus spread.
Great Initiative! This would definitely ensure required social distance between the driver and the passengers.