CNG Rickshaws Land in Karachi

Seems like the much awaited CNG rickshaws have finally landed (assembly-line snaps courtesy Raja Islam). Spotted one such ‘greener alternative’ to the iconic rickshaws of Karachi in Clifton yesterday. Besides being colored green (physically), these three-wheelers are supposed to be effectively green because of two reasons: they run on CNG which pollutes the environment less and these rickshaws are as soundless as any regular car. cng-rick1.jpg

Of course, this is true for the unaltered version of these CNG rickshaws. What ‘twists’ are given to these features later by the innovative local auto-technicians remain to be seen in due course of time.

Back to the review: For a change, there are two head-lights in the front. The older rickshaws used to have just one on top of their singular front wheels.

The cost of the rickshaw as stated by the oh-feeling-so-proud driver is Rs 150,000 without registration charges. I believe that registration would add another 5,000 ~ 8,000 to the total cost.

There is still no steering wheel for the driver but the ‘steering handle’ is now blessed with at least four meters. This is a major deviation from the earlier practice of pasting a dummy speedometer at the center of the steering handle that was just a decoration item and actually did nothing.

Gone is the typically hand-driven kick-start operation. The driver pushed a neat button on the handle that made use of the battery to start the engine which was pleasantly silent. The silencer, at least for now, is quite visible from the rear view of the three-wheeler.

The rear seats appeared to be more comfortable and spacious in terms of leg-space offered to the riders. I could not find out about the capacity of the CNG cylinder that comes fitted. And finally, to put some more decency in the younger cousin, there are wheel-covers that give the bigger-than-previous tires a finished look. The shiny vehicle was void of any additional decorative paintjob on the body but I am sure the vehicular linguists in the backyards of Patel-para where Rickshaws are meticulously decorated and painted must be yearning to put the latest consignment of the mobile-literature on these newer rickshaws.


16 Comments so far

  1. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

    Tee Emm, the pictures are all overlapping. Please correct the layout.

  2. Raja Islam (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

    For more insight of Rickshaw CNG

  3. Raja Islam (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 2:05 pm

    For more insight of CNG Rickshaw

  4. Farrukh Ahmed (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

    Yup!! I saw these in Quetta around 15 days back….
    they’re quite but will they remain that way?

    Actually, removing the silencer for so-called improved fuel efficiency is nothing but a myth!!

    I can prove any given day, that vehicles with clean exhaust silencers are more fuel efficient!!

    The trick is to keep the pipe clean and accurate tuning of the engine!

  5. Zainub (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 5:19 pm

    They look cool. Must try them out some time.

  6. Sufi (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

    they look great :D

    feel like buying one

  7. Neoka (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 8:18 pm

    Yes Finally!

    If I were a minister of transport, I would put my budge to good use, buy up 500 of these rickshaws, sell them for dirt cheap to anyone that will exchange their old rickshaws for new ones.
    Once the market is flooded with the CNG rickshaws, you begin phasing out the old rickshaws by enforcing pollution automotive pollution producing restrictions on vehicles and rickshaws.

    Before you know it, we’ll be like Delhi and have all rickshaws on CNG. This would considerable reduce the pollution that the current rickshaws are making.

    I believe it would even increase the usage of rickshaws in Karachi, since the pollution is quite a deterrent for some I know, including myself.

    Next stop, CNG Buses!

  8. BoZz (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 9:39 pm

    On the long run I fail to see how this half measure will improve anything. The key to success, and in this case the successful control of environmental pollution lies not with the purchase and introduction of newer machines only.

    The real, long term and positive results can only be achieved by changing the mind set. That means educated the people.

    We have seen it all before. Many half hearted measures and tries but till such time people are not educated, taught and learn, things will not and cannot change.

    Who will maintain these machines?
    Who will repair them?
    Who will certify these machines as road worthy?

    Have these people or their mind-sets been addressed? I think not.

    Just like guns do not kill, men do, similarly, the problem is not the machines but men behind them.

  9. al khan (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 10:27 pm

    Who says they cause less pollution??

  10. Abdul Sami (unregistered) on March 28th, 2007 @ 10:04 am

    According to a conventional rickshaw driver, the new CNG rickshaw has got heating problems. It has to be cooled after few hours of operations. This is why we are not seeing them often on roads.

  11. redsnapper (unregistered) on March 28th, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

    Yeah the rickshaw is a pleasant change. Brings a smile to one’s face.

    @sufi: it’d be fun driving this to work. And don’t forget the miniature chinese car that one sees once in a while. If only a cheap small electric car was available. Noiseless, dhuaan-less.

    I’ve heard these CNG rickshaws are now very common in Lahore. Is this correct ?

  12. Aussi_Paki (unregistered) on March 28th, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

    I miss my Karachi :(!!

  13. Purple_Haze (unregistered) on March 28th, 2007 @ 6:50 pm

    What about Ethanol? Pakistan use to be one of the biggest suppliers of Ethanol to EU until India complained. Also biodeisel and Fuel Cells must be explored quickly as they are in neighboring countries.

  14. Neoka (unregistered) on March 29th, 2007 @ 1:41 pm

    @Bozz: couldnt have said it better myself. You’re absolutely correct, the mind set HAS to be changed. What my suggest was; metaphorically to replace a gun with a knife, so that the chances of a person killing someone is reduced and made more difficult (relatively of course, knives kill people just the same)

    So the question is then, what is and can be done to help change these mind sets?

    ps. there are many more CNG rickshaws in lahore, and delhi and mumbai have completely converted to CNG now

  15. BoZz (unregistered) on March 29th, 2007 @ 2:57 pm

    One answer for many problems EDUCATION. Should be made compulsory, mandatory, obligatory in this country from grass root level up. Parents of children up to a certain age, who do not attend schools, should be held accountable.

    It is easier said than done, I do realize that. Poverty being the persistent adversary to above. However, to contemplate breaking out of this vicious quick sand, a start has to be some where and some hardship, even more in our case, has to be endured. For the greater economic good of both the individuals involved and the country in general.

    I am sure there are far better minds out there who could, if they so wished, devise a plan for the same.

  16. Hena (unregistered) on March 29th, 2007 @ 8:25 pm

    Ok CNG rickshaws are a great idea. However, the last time I was in Karachi (October) the lines were huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge for CNG, everywhere! Seriously would take like 20-25 minutes. I’m assuming these rickshaws will have their own stations somewhere for CNG, or am I being too organized here? But if they do, then I’m all for it – as well as CNG buses:) Maybe the CNG will rid the buses of all their lame-O bells and whistles too? Ok I should just stop. hehe. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

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