Partha Saha riding COVID-19 in Aralia village. The e-bike has a range of 80 km and takes 3-4 hours to fully charge Credit: EastMojo Image

Agartala: COVID-19 has lead to many homegrown innovations that reinforce the importance of social distancing. An e-rikshaw modified with compartments to maintain social distancing impressed the chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra. Similarly, inventor Sudhakar Yadav from Hyderabad designed a vehicle that looks like the COVID-19 virus to spread awareness about the highly infectious virus.

In Tripura, Partha Saha, a YouTuber from Aralia village has designed an electric motorcycle that provides for one-metre distance between the driver and the pillion rider by a metre. Keeping a one-metre distance is part of WHO recommendations on fighting COVID-19.

Saha wants to use this motorcycle to raise awareness on social distancing norms among his people. Speaking with EastMojo, Saha says, “I did not approach the transport department nor do I have any plan to make this a commercial product. The decision to design the motorcycle was to make people aware about the importance of maintaining social distancing”.

Saha used a 750 watt DC motor and a 48-volt battery for his e-bike. The bike takes 3-4 hours to get fully charged and can run over 80 km on a single charge.“Initially, I decided to design this motorcycle to drop my 9-year-old daughter to school after the lockdown is lifted. But getting clearance from the transport department would be next to impossible therefore I dropped the idea”, Saha added.

The Principal Secretary of Tripura for (Transport) Laihlia Darlong said that he is not aware of this vehicle and would inquire about it.

“No vehicle without undergoing safety and security standard tests can be allowed to ply on road by the state government. Once the vehicle is approved by the concerned authorities certified by the centre, only then the motorcycle can be allowed to run on the streets. Also, no vehicle once registered on Vahan database can be modified without permission from the authorities”, Darlong said.

Saha used to be an instructor at a technical institute until 2018 but gave it up to turn into a fulltime YouTube content creator. His channel, ‘Technical Partha’ has over 3 lakh subscribers.

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