Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government has decided to distribute 10,000 battery-operated rickshaws among unemployed youths. It may be mentioned that the state government has already distributed 70 lakh bicycles among school-goers under Sabuj Sathi.
A budget of Rs 365 crore has been allotted for distribution of the battery-operated rickshaws and it will be given by the state Panchayat and Rural development department.
Under the scheme, the state government will be bearing 30 percent of the total cost of each of the rickshaws and at the same time, will provide all necessary assistance to the youths to get loan to pay 65 percent of the cost. The owner will have to pay only 5 percent of the total cost, which is around Rs 1.25 lakh for each vehicle.
The step has been taken to generate more work opportunity for youths of the state and at the same time, it will also ensure better last minute connectivity at different parts of the state. Moreover, the battery-operated rickshaws are environment friendly as well.
It may be recalled that the Mamata Banerjee government had extended support to unemployed youths in the state, by introducing the Gatidhara scheme. Under the scheme, the state government has given a financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to each youth to buy a car, that they can use for commercial purposes. It has been targeted to bring 10,000 youths under the scheme.
In the budget for the financial year 2018-19, Rs 93 crore has been allotted for the Gatidhara scheme. Moreover, the state transport department has also introduced the Jalodhara scheme to help semi-mechanised boat owners convert their vessels into robust and safe boats.
It may be mentioned that after coming to power in 2011, the state government has taken up several projects to ensure overall development of the transport sector.
Now, the state Panchayat and Rural Development department, which had constructed rural roads, has also taken the step of providing financial assistance to unemployed youths, to buy battery-operated rickshaws.