Solar-powered cycle rickshaws, Soleckshaw, built by a leading science laboratory, was on Friday (3th October 2008) rolled out in the New Delhi, India. Also known as the green rikshaw for being environment-friendly, a soleckshaw weighs 210 kg, runs at a speed of 15 to 20 km per hour and can carry load upto 200 kg. A solar battery of 36 volt, that requires 5 hours of charge, helps it run for 60 kms.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit launched the Soleckshaw in the presence of Science and Technology Minister and Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal at a function in Chandni Chowk in New Delhi. "I congratulate Samir Bramhachari (Director General of CSIR) and his team of engineers on their work. Both the driver and rider will gain from it. And it will also not pollute the environment," Dikshit said. Asked on the soleckshaw's debut on the roads, Sibal said, "We will sit for talks with the Delhi government and then invite private entrepreneurs for its mass production. Two parties from Delhi and one from Patna have shown interest in it." Stressing on cheap housing alternative to the slum dwellers, Sibal announced that under the CSIR-800 programme affordable homes will be made for the poor.
"The houses will be made of composite materials which are environmental friendly. A house measuring 10 feet by 10 feet will cost Rs 21,000 only (around 437 USD). It will be water-proof and fire resistant," he added.The union minister also announced a 100 crore project to clean and beautify the busy Chandni Chowk area at the heart of the city.