With the beginning of construction works at Tata Motors Nano plant, the village town of Singur started buzzing with various economic activities. 22 syndicates comprising land givers started supplying construction materials, new food shops and tea stalls near the plant sprung up for erection workers to provide them food etc. But what caught the eye of commuters was an innovative ‘Vano’, which is used to commute workers and staff from Singur Railway station to plant area apart from carrying goods.
The ‘Vano’ derives its name from the word ‘Van’ which is a tri-wheeler with two rear and one central wheel driven physically by paddling like bicycles. A wooden platform, 3 feet long and 5 feet wide is mounted on the three-wheel chassis. This platform can be used to carry goods or passengers.
In the improvised ‘Vano’ (the name is given to show solidarity with ‘Nano’), the three wheels are replaced by wheels of motorbike and a diesel engine of 7.5 hp Chinese water pump (because it is cheap) is fitted on a robust chassis to carry load up to 2 tons. There is no gearshift arrangement as such and clutch, brake and accelerator control speed in ‘Vano’.
There are at present 200 ‘Vano’ in use in Singur and if the ‘Nano’ starts rolling out, so will be the ‘Vano’ from local make shift fabrication and assembly shops, though in much lesser numbers. It will also be an icon of industrial progress in Bengal.
Obviously then if ‘Nano’ vanishes from Singur the fate of ‘Vano’ will be no different.