Erickshaws could be crucial in carrying passengers and goods over the inhumane use of physical human labour used rampantly across India. Erickshaws are to be provided to minority, SC, ST and OBCs at discounted rates by select welfare organizations. Safety has been a concern for erickshaws plying in Delhi and Delhi High Court has issued show-cause notices in regards to sheer volumes plying on city roads. Nitin Gadkari flagged off the 1st technically approved e-rickshaw at the ceremony.
The Court had earlier directed government authorities to allow e-rickshaws on Delhi roads subject to legislative changes pertaining to operational regulations. Delhi Police too has been questioned in this regard, and are to file replies within 4 weeks, with a hearing scheduled on December 18.
For battery-operated rickshaws to be operational, the court seeks registration, release of permits, insurance, and driving licences. Existing ban on e-rickshaws remains in motion under existing laws until aforementioned regulations are adhered to.
Despite the prohibition that came into effect on July 31st, e-rickshaws continued to ply on Delhi streets with no action by police. Transport Ministry had issued a draft notification regarding e-rickshaws in October, and invited objections to it.
The development this month pertains to an all new e-rickshaw manufactured keeping in mind commuter safety. Ministry cleared plying of e-rickshaws on city roads in a notification to Central Motor Vehicles (Sixteenth Amendment) Rules, 2014, making room for ‘special purpose battery operated vehicles’. Under new rules, an e-rickshaw can carry four passengers (excluding driver) and 40 kg luggage, and e-carts can transport goods up to 310 kg. The purpose built e-rickshaw, special purpose battery operated vehicle (three wheeler) is aimed to provide last mile connectivity for passenger commute for hire or reward. Max power does not exceed 2000 Watts and max speed is pegged at 25kmph.