KOTTAYAM: The Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) has, on a test-basis, introduced a solar powered electric auto rickshaw for shuttling the tourists to and fro the three kilometer distance between Thekkady check post and the boat cruise spot.
The aim is to bring down the pollution level caused as a result of the plying of other vehicles and for attracting more tourists to the Tiger Reserve.
As of now, the (PTR) authorities are using five buses under its ownership for transferring the tourists from the check post to the place of boat landing.
The auto rickshaws which function with the support of the battery will be charged using a solar panel attached either on the vehicle or over the waiting shed and will be able to cover 30 kilometers before recharge
"The services of the solar powered auto rickshaw will be made beneficial to the physically handicapped persons coming to Thekkady in the initial stage. If found successful, more such auto rickshaws will be purchased", PTR Range officer N.P. Sajeevan told DC.
The auto rickshaw was purchased by the (PTR) authorities by spending Rs 1,88,000. Four commuters other than the auto rickshaw driver can travel in the auto rickshaw at a time. The Solar powered auto rickshaw can prevent the carbon monoxide emission substantially.
The boat cruise is open from 7 am to 4 am and is of 2 hours duration. The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation and the forest department are running boats at the Periyar lake.