On battery-driven rickshaws
THE caption of the front-page photograph in a local financial daily on September 2 about battery-driven rickshaws is regretfully not correct. It will mislead the readers and will only create a totally wrong opinion on this important and critical subject matter.
Rickshaw batteries are generally charged from electric supply mains, usually after 10:00pm, when power tariff is low, and the electric supply is not even partially loaded.
Usually the charging continues between 10:00pm till, say, around 4:00am, by that time the batteries are fully charged. During the day, the rickshaw is busy earning fare, and cannot be kept idle for three or four hours for charging it, with no income being generated.
Generally, electric power load, both domestic and commercial, is at the peak between 6:00pm and 10:00pm, when electricity tariff is also the highest, to try to minimise electric power consumption.
However, if the connection is illegal, and without meter, then it is power theft and is wrong at all times — be it day or night.
Further, demand for electrical power tends to fall very rapidly by midnight or earlier, as most lights are switched off and comes down to, say, below 25 per cent of generation capacity, and in multi-unit power plants, a few units are either idled or shut down, and not restarted before dawn.
So charging of rickshaw batteries at night can in no way contribute to load shedding. In the principle of stating facts, and not misleading the valued readers, I believe the newspaper in question should issue a correction.
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