KOCHI: Encouraging patrons to opt for greener modes of transport, the 26th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) has lined up e-autorickshaws and electric cars to ferry delegates and officials to different venues.
The woman drivers of the e-autorickshaws, who have been ensuring that delegates enjoy a comfortable ride, are yet another highlight of the venues. “This is the second time that e-autorickshaws are transporting the delegates at the film festival. The response has been good so far. While some are still hesitant to ride them owing to the pandemic threat, others opt for them out of curiosity. We are thankful to the organisers of the festival for making us a part of this,” said Mary John, one of the e-autorickshaw drivers.
Around 10 e-autorickshaws manufactured by KAL (Kerala Automobiles Limited) and commissioned under the Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Limited (SCTL) project are deployed at the venue. Chandrika P, another driver, said, many delegates are availing their service. “During the pandemic, we were forced to keep our vehicles off the road due to lack of customers. We resumed operations recently after the restrictions were eased. Now, we are getting more patronage,” she said.The e-autorickshaws start their journey from Tagore Theatre to the other venues at 8.30am and wind up around 7pm.
“The ride is completely free for the delegates, and we are paid by the organisers based on the number of trips we make daily. All of us are getting around 15 trips daily. Some delegates are also curious to know about the e-vehicle and how they work. The only challenge is the battery life — it only stays for three hours,” said Chandrika, who has been riding an e-autorickshaw for the past two years.