Ride With the Kolkata Cabbie in His Green Chariot

His Taxi has a roof top garden, trunk full of plants. Meet Dhananjay Chakraborty and his ‘subuj rath’. 

Updated
India
3 min read
40-year-old driver Dhananjay Charkaborty who operates the ‘plant fitted’ car calls it his ‘Sobuj Rath’ or Green Chariot. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008750044564">Bapi Green Taxi</a>)

How about sitting in a garden that moves?

Well, a city driver who plys a taxi fitted with a mini garden has been the centre of attraction in Kolkata. With a bed of real grass on the rooftop and a cluster of eight potted plants inside, the yellow-coloured ambassador car, which operates as a taxi resembles a moving garden and outshines other vehicles on the city’s streets.

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008750044564">Bapi Green Taxi</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/Bapi Green Taxi)

40-year-old driver Dhananjay Charkaborty who operates the ‘plant fitted’ car calls it his ‘Sobuj Rath’ or Green Chariot.

I love planting trees. Since I live in a rented house I could not have maintained a garden. But I made that my taxi is like a moving garden. Initially, people made fun of me but gradually they began appreciating my work.
– Dhananjay Charkaborty

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008750044564">Bapi Green Taxi</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/Bapi Green Taxi)

The ‘Green Lawn’ or the ‘Green Tray’ another name coined by Chakraborty for the car, which he says took around six months to complete, was inaugurated on May 8.

A ceiling of artificial grass enhances the organic feel of the car. The cost of creating the lawn came up to Rs 22,000, which says Chakraborty, excludes the cost of decorating the ceiling and planting saplings inside the taxi.

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008750044564">Bapi Green Taxi</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/Bapi Green Taxi)

The taxi which plys from Karunamoyee to Tollygunge and vice-versa does not charge customers additional for the luxury of the plants.

Aiming to spread awareness, Chakraborty tends to educate his customers about the fast felling of trees and informs them about the hazards of the same urging them to take care of the trees.

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008750044564">Bapi Green Taxi</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/Bapi Green Taxi)

The temperature of the vehicle has come down in the scorching heat of the city. This helps me to work even in the afternoons when other taxi drivers make efforts to save their taxis from getting overheated and resulting in breakdown.
– Dhananjay Charkaborty

To add to the ambiance of a garden, the taxi seats have been given a yellow colour and have painted messages that urge passengers to quit smoking and consumption of alcohol.

One such caption reads “Thaake jodi Cancer er bhoy, Dhumrapaan aar noy!” (If you have the fear of cancer, then no more smoking).

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008750044564">Bapi Green Taxi</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/Bapi Green Taxi)

The cab also houses a ‘kukri’ or a Nepalese knife which has short poems written on it, urging people to follow the path of non-violence. Alongside there is water from the Ganges and picture of a pigeon, considered as a sign of peace.

I want people to be aware of the hazards of not planting trees and its effect on the environment. If we as responsible citizens do not take initiative for better surrounding, even the government wont be able to do anything.
– Dhananjay Charkaborty

This is how the Taxi looked before it underwent the transformation to become a miniature mobile garden. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008750044564">Bapi Green Taxi</a>)
This is how the Taxi looked before it underwent the transformation to become a miniature mobile garden. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook.com/Bapi Green Taxi)

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