Saturday, November 04, 2006

Nosiman Revisited

In September I wrote about this ingenious home-grown people-mover, called a Nosiman (as Rajputro pointed out). I looked at another one yesterday. Built around a diesel irrigation pump, it can carry a dozen or more people around narrow, uncrowded village streets.

I had questions about the brakes and took a look. The brake pedal is at the front, bottom-right of the driver (with the criss-cross pattern).

This pedal pulls on a rod connected to a kind of rubber sheet wrapped around the rear axle. When the brake is applied, this sheet tightens and slows down the vehicle.

How well does it brake? Don't expect Bembo performance but, I heard, not too bad given the unsual design.

The vehicle appears totally locally designed (except for the motor of course.) Oh yeah, they cost Tk 40000 each and the driver earns around Tk 300 per day.

We also passed a rickshaw (!) fitted with one of these pumps. It was weird to see the rickshaw-wallah sitting on his seat doing nothing while the rickshaw moved at a good clip. Will take a closer look next time.

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