Public travel in the three-wheeler i.e. the country's colorful rickshaw, at least when in the capital, is all set to get a much needed facelift. If you’re a frequent rickshaw-rider (for want of a better term) in Delhi, chances that you encountered an unreasonably rude driver must be quite high. Not that it's any different in any other city of course. But in the capital we often also hear about the plight of the female travelers, who fear for their safety when commuting via this mode.

Under the scanner..

Under the scanner..

A recent report in The Telegraph, has added a shade of optimism to the bleak reality. By the end of this week, as many as 250 rickshaws plying on the streets of New Delhi will have GPS from SatNav installed, a number which by the end of this month will soar to a good 55,000 rickshaws. These GPS devices will further be connected to a government server. Among the many purposes it is expected to serve, the device will track the journeys the rickshaw covers, thereby giving officials a way to check if the drivers are taking the easiest, fastest routes. Also, considering the increasing instances of indecent, rude behavior of the drivers towards the customers, especially female travelers, the monitoring will help the officials nail the guilty.

Appreciatively, the rickshaws will also include a panic button which female passengers can press to raise an alarm, to alert the cops if they sense danger. The move, for now at least has met with stiff resistance from the rickshaw drivers, owing to the high costs of the device. However, the officials have offered them an option of ‘renting’ the SatNav systems. This move comes as an attempt to improve the services of the three-wheelers in the busy metro of New Delhi, which accounts for good manners, professional behavior, personal hygiene, vehicle maintenance, among others.

Although this does seem to be a great move, considering the amount of dependency that metro dwellers have on their services, it remains to be seen if these services reach the other metros too.

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