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Amid growing concerns of degrading air quality, the nation is gradually realizing the importance of having cleaner and sustainable alternatives to the existing modes of transport. IIT Bombay, being one of the premium technical institutes in the country, is expected to stay ahead of the curve in such matters and lead by example. Insight reflected on the initiatives taken by the institute and the hostel affairs council in this regard.

The first initiative that springs to mind is the e shuttle. These pay-per-use electrically powered golf buggies have been received with mixed reviews by the instizens, but one immutable truth is that they are a major step forward in terms of reducing the carbon footprint of the tumtums of old. They do not add to the smoke, or to the dust pollution, unlike the tumtums, and are quite convenient for the students, although not as much as their predecessors, the tumtums. Some of the common concerns that have been raised about the e shuttles are the relatively high fares, the low frequency, and the fact that people can overtake the shuttles on their cycles. On being quizzed about this, the GSHA stated that the fare is paid in cash and charged only to those availing the service, so they are priced slightly higher than the tumtums. A card payment system is in the pipeline, but it might take time to be implemented. Regarding the speed of the shuttles, the GSHA said that the power of the electric motor is fixed, and in order to accommodate greater capacity, the speed had to be compromised to some extent, and their case is not helped by the inclined roads in the institute. He provided some respite by saying that the number of e shuttles on campus is soon going to be increased to 24 from the current 8 to help cater to the students’ demands.

Another notable initiative is the tie-up with MyByk and Yulu cycles. There are 240 cycles, a number which is set to increase soon, available to the instizens for rent on the campus. These are good alternatives to auto rickshaws, and a good solution for those who are reluctant to buy a cycle owing to infrequent usage. This is another firm step towards a cleaner mode of transportation.  New pricing schemes are being devised to suit the students better, like getting cycles on rent for a month or having a pay per unit time span system.

Both of the aforementioned modes of transport are suitable alternatives to auto rickshaws. So, can we do away with auto rickshaws? Not anytime soon, according to the GSHA. They are a necessary evil, evil because they’re not as clean and efficient as their two alternatives, yet necessary because students are still quite dependent on them. Hence, they cannot be done away with until the institute becomes self-sufficient in terms of transportation.

How do we fare against other IITs and what are some of their initiatives which we can inculcate?

In terms of cleaner transportation, IIT Bombay is faring just as well, if not better, than most IITs. IIT Kharagpur has an e shuttle system akin to ours, IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur have pedal rickshaws, which are infeasible here due to the inclined roads and availability of cycles for rent.

Apart from this, an interesting initiative has been taken by IIT Guwahati. They are soon going to introduce electric cycles on their campus, and have signed a memorandum of understanding for the same with the firm. We hope for their success, as this initiative stands to benefit us too if implemented here.

On a closing note, it can be said that the efforts are by the hostel affairs council so far are quite commendable, and the institute has made tangible progress in terms of adopting cleaner methods of transportation. There is still scope for progress, however, and the hostel affairs council is working towards it. The GSHA has urged the students to fill the feedback forms that are floated for these initiatives earnestly, as it helps the council gauge the current issues of the instizens and be more aware while addressme.co.nz/ball-dresses.html”>dressme.co.nz/ball-dressme.co.nz/ball-dresses.html”>dresses.html”>dressme.co.nz/ball-dresses.html”>dressing them.

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