Chennai: India’s dirtiest city is about to get more expensive as a dump truck company has started offering service to the capital’s most densely populated areas, with a price tag of Rs 4,400 for a flatbed truck service.
A service of this size is a rare sight in the densely populated urban areas of the Indian capital, with only about a dozen such vehicles available in the city, according to the company that has now launched a pilot programme in Chennai.
In a statement, the company said its offering would help residents to cope with a “difficult time” as the city is experiencing its worst flooding in its history and other major cities in the country are seeing similar problems.
“We have been working with a large number of the urban areas to bring a service for the residents in the area and so far the response has been positive,” the company’s chief executive Ashish Kumar told the NDTV channel.
“The response has also been very encouraging.”
The flatbed service has been made available to a small number of people in the sprawling residential areas of Mumbai and other densely populated districts, where the city’s air pollution levels have hit hazardous levels.
However, it is still not available to people in Chennai, where about 60 per cent of the population lives.
“It is important to stress that we are targeting a small group of people that can’t afford the price,” Kumar said.
“We are targeting people who are in the same situation as we are and they will benefit the most from this.”
India’s biggest city, where 1.2 million people live, is home to around 1.6 million people and is the city with the highest concentration of people with diabetes, asthma and heart disease.
According to a 2014 study by the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 70 per cent people in urban India suffer from asthma, while diabetes rates are nearly 80 per cent.
According the Indian government’s annual report on human health, the city has the highest rate of HIV and malaria deaths in India.
The company is offering a flat bed service of Rs 3,400 ($532) for a pick up truck and Rs 2,200 ($420) for delivery.
“This is our first foray into Chennai and we will continue to work with our customers to bring these services to other urban areas,” Kumar told NDTV.
“But it’s not our first move.”