Nainital, Oct.3 : Though boating has been the prime attraction in the hilly Nainital town in Uttarakhand, of late, the local residents and visiting tourists from different parts of the country here have also started cherishing eco-friendly cycle-rickshaws these days.
Being a hilly terrain, initially, no one ventured to own or operate a cycle-rickshaw here until a couple of enterprising minds gave it a thought to ply these eco-friendly vehicles.
Popularity of cycle-rickshaws could be gauged from the fact that locals and tourists patronising the pre-paid rickshaw stands, set up at vantage points in the city.
"There were no rickshaws at first but now this is really helping people. Cycle-rickshaw service has been a boon. People are enjoying and liking it," said Harish, an employee at a prepaid counter for cycle-rickshaws.
The cycle-rickshaw service has made commuting easy for the local residents as well as a large number of tourists visiting Nainital at various time of the year.
It is convenient and not at all expensive.
"Initially, it was difficult to commute. We had to hire a taxi that was not affordable. The local administration authorities have done a good job by launching cycle-rickshaws although the routes are limited for the time-being," said Samir, a resident of Nainital.
The rickshaws move on the route between Tallital and Mallital. All one has to pay is just rupees eight for a ride between the two places.
"We have learnt that even a complete rickshaw can be booked. We have to book the entire rickshaw and the prices are fixed. For a single journey from here to Mallital, the rickshaw rides are booked for just eight rupees," said Mukesh Verma, a tourist.
As for the pre-paid counters, these are the spots where one can book the cycle rickshaw for the required journey and period.
These pre-paid services are very convenient where the intending riders are given a slip with the rickshaw number mentioned on it.
Among the other beneficiaries are the persons manning pre-paid counters and cycle mechanics who maintain these vehicles.
Indeed, the business of cycle-rickshaws has been a worthy source of regular income to hundreds of cycle-rickshaw pullers, as they ferry the locals and visiting tourists to different spots in the designated routes. y Vipul Goel