In August, the government of West Bengal banned hand-pulled rickshaws. From details gathered about the ban in the Indian press, it was clear the authorities had decided the sight of barefoot humans pulling other humans around the city was bad for Calcutta’s image. The motorized replacements that will serve the emerging information-technology hub, with its sprawling new shopping malls and modern business center, are described as high-tech and ergonomically designed.
The ergonomic credentials ascribed to the motorized rickshaws may or may not be marketing fluff. The June 29, 2005, issue of The Ergonomics Report