LPG autorikshaws on the loose in India
In relation to excessive air pollution in the region's cities, in no small part caused by diesel-powered cars (as confirmed by research conducted by the TNPCB – the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board), the Madras court decided to lift the LPG conversion permission limit and allow fitting autorikshaws with autogas systems outside Chennai, the only city it was allowed until recently. Autorikshaws, vehicles related to motorcycles and mopeds rather than cars, offer 3+1 passenger capacity (1 being the driver) and thanks to autogas conversions operate with a significantly reduced environmental impact, but also at a remarkably lowered cost, which also of importance in a developing country like India.
The limitation was controversial from the very beginning, because it was clear from the start that other cities in the western belt of Tamil Nadu, including Namakkal, Erode or Thiruchengode, also suffer from extensive air pollution caused by the rising number of vehicles on the roads, many of which have long been outdated. The latest court ruling lifts the injust limitation and grants conversion permission to more autorikshaw owners. Incidentally, this decision becomes a part of a wider tendency in India to eradicate diesel-power vehicles from the streets of cities to improve air quality. We keep our fingers crossed for more changes in this direction!
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