They are no limousines but a new fleet of autorickshaws with air coolerr, DVD players and tinted windshields in Chennai offering a luxurious ride that few could resist. The luxury autorickshaw, an innovative idea of 27-year old mechanic-cum-driver Abu Backer, has become an instant hit as many are approaching him to get their three-wheelers modified.
The autorickshaw fitted with a DVD player, a drop down screen providing privacy, a 750 watt amplifier and an air-cooler also brings a refreshing change to the image of the city autorickshaw drivers, often facing charges of fleecing and behaving rudely with the passengers. Fully operated by a remote, the suspension system has been overhauled and exhaust muffled with a modified silencer. To give it a cool interior, the autorickshaw has tinted windshield.
Other cosmetic changes include changing the shape of the mudguard. A neon bulb has been fitted under the chasis to give variegated feel during movement. "The paint job was difficult because I changed it thrice to get the 'gold computer metallic' colour," Backer told PTI. "I spent more than a Rs one lakh for the modifications which include Rs 30,000 for video and amplifier, Rs 20,000 for special cushion, Rs 10,000 for nickel plating and painting. "The rest I spent for special MRF tyres, a Sumo battery and fluorescent stickers," Backer said. |
Interestingly, Abu had installed an automatic device in his vehicle, which can be operated to open the petrol tank at the back eliminating the need for the driver to get down and go back. Abu's autorickshaw forms part of the fleet at the Annai Therasa Auto Stand at Shanthi Colony in Ashok Nagar locality. Whats more, Abu does not charge any extra fare from the passengers for the ride.
The passengers could ask for any movie or a song of their choice during their journey. "I play only original CDs to my passengers," he said adding "I always take minimum 50 CDs, which include movies and songs from different Tamil cinemas", he said adding "To satisfy non-locals, I carry some of Hindi and English songs too. I drive the auto only in the evenings and most of my customers call me to their door step."
Abu, who had already modified three vehicles, is busy attending to new customers, not the passengers, but those who want to modify there autos in similar fashion. His creativity has not gone unnoticed with Abu being flooded with enquiries to churn up more luxury autrickshaws. "It is painstaking job. It takes minimum three to four months to do the modification job," he pointed out. Abu is planning to set up a big unit in future to undertake such modification works.