Pervaiz announces Rs 1b to replace old rickshaws by 2008
* Says government to subsidise 4-stroke rickshaws
LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has announced a package worth Rs 1 billion to replace two-stroke rickshaws with four-stroke ones in Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi by December 2007.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the chief minister said that two-stroke rickshaws would be phased out to reduce noise and air pollution in the province. He said that attractive incentives would be offered to people to buy four-stroke rickshaws. He said that the Punjab government had been working on a plan for the last two years to reduce pollution emitted by vehicles.
He said that under the Green Punjab programme, people could obtain four-stroke CNG-fitted rickshaws, worth more than Rs 100,000, for a down payment of Rs 28,000. He said that the Punjab government would provide a subsidy of Rs 30,000, while the remaining amount could be paid in instalments. He said that the government would also pay the entire mark-up and service charges to the bank.
The chief minister said that the new rickshaws would decrease the daily expenses of rickshaw-owners as well the rickshaw fares because of the use of CNG instead of petrol. He said that the government had allocated Rs 1 billion for the project and would provide more funds later.
Salman Ghani, Planning and Development chairman, said that rickshaws would be provided on a first come first served basis.
Earlier, presiding over a high-level meeting, Elahi said that the existing law against smoke-emitting vehicles would now be strictly implemented. It was decided in the meeting that vehicles more than 10 years old would not be allowed to on the roads unless they were given the green signal by checking stations, which would be set up in all major cities of the province. The meeting decided to ban motorcycle rickshaws which were illegally manufactured or did not have licences.
The meeting also decided to import air-conditioned CNG buses if the local manufacturers did not produce them.