After Gujarat, Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) alumnus Nirmal Kumar’s ‘any-time rickshaw service’ G-Auto is all set to ply on Delhi roads. The foundation is awaiting approval from the civic agencies in the capital.
In 2009, IIM-A alumnus started the G-Auto service, which is operated by Kumar’s Nirmal Foundation. The foundation has around 10,000 rickshaws that are available “24 hours a day, seven days a week”. These ply in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and Rajkot in Gujarat, with an impending launch in Surat.
The auto service is expected to launch by the first week of April and 300 autos will be run in Delhi by the foundation.
Customers can call and book autorickshaws, like the dial-a-cab services available in the national capital.
“After the gangrape case, the question of safety and affordability for daily commuters spurred me to make a proposal to the civic agencies in Delhi. Many autorickshaw drivers refuse to ply by the meter in Delhi and this hampers customer safety. While a taxi charges Rs 20 to Rs 25 per km, in Delhi our autos will ply for Rs 6 per km. This brings down 25 per cent of the cab fare borne by commuters. We have received support from Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) and Surat Police to a large extent and are looking forward to this partnership with Delhi’s civic agencies,” said Nirmal Kumar, founder and managing trustee of Nirmal Foundation.
The proposal will work on the PPP (public-private partnership) model, where the organisation will receive support for office infrastructure and other legalities from the corporations.
The corporation will hold a meeting on Tuesday, where the service is expected to be given formal approval.
Supported by the Airport Authority of India, State Bank of India and Gujarat government, the foundation has also started ‘Airport Express’ service.
Under this, it gets parking space for auto rickshaws at the airport in Ahmedabad and passengers can book autos from a counter at the airport.