World

Indian mechanic invents ‘social distancing’ motorbike


Bangladeshpost
Published : 30 Apr 2020 07:43 PM | Updated : 28 Aug 2020 06:43 AM

An Indian school drop-out has built a motorbike with a one-metre gap between the rider and the passenger to drive home the importance of social distancing in the coronavirus pandemic, reports AFP.

Partha Saha, 39, bought an old bike from a scrap dealer, removed the engine and cut the machine in two before affixing a rod slightly longer than a metre (3.2 feet) to connect the wheels.

"Now I can ride with my eight-year-old daughter while maintaining a safe distance," he told AFP from Agartala in the northeastern state of Tripura.

Like other countries, the Indian government has imposed a nationwide lockdown and urged citizens to practise social distancing to curb the spread of the virus.

As of Thursday, India had reported 33,050 cases of COVID-19, with 1,074 deaths.

When the nation extended its lockdown this month until at least May 3, Saha realised the battle against the virus might not be over any time soon.

He used up his meagre savings to make the vehicle, which he plans to use to ferry his daughter to and from school once the restrictions are lifted.

"I didn't want her to take the school bus as it would be crowded," said Saha, who works in a TV repair shop. His new bike runs on battery power and has a top speed of 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph).