Government submits draft guidelines in court on e-rickshaw plying
Posted on Aug 08 2014 | IANS
New Delhi, Aug 8 : The Central government Friday submitted in the Delhi High Court the draft guidelines to regulate plying of e-rickshaws in the capital by bringing these battery-operated vehicles under the ambit of the Motor Vehicles Act.
Filing the guidelines for framing rules for operation of e-rickshaws, the ministry of road transport and highways said it will finalise the guidelines in about two months and till that time the ban on the vehicles' plying should be suspended.
"The finalization of these rules may take two months due to compliance of procedural modalities and effective deliberations for framing such rules," said the draft guidelines.
A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul will hear the matter later in the day (Friday).
As per the draft guidelines, the e-rickshaws will run at a maximum speed of less than 25 km per hour with maximum capacity of four persons and 50 kg of load.
"Three-wheeled vehicles with motor power as specified by the central government (less than approx 650 to 1,000 watts to carry the specified load at a specific maximum speed) be regulated with a set of rules within the MV Act which will be easier to implement ensuring road worthiness of vehicles, easier to register," said the draft guidelines.
There will be triennial renewal of registration of e-rickshaws, said the guidelines, adding that registration will be given to only drivers who hold a valid licence. The compensation to the accident claim victims will be given as per provisions of MV Act.
It also stated that e-rickshaws provide employment to hundreds of thousands who have upgraded from the manually pulled ones to the electric-powered three-wheeled vehicles.
"As technology improves, the society craves for value addition for vehicles. Hence, there should be option to the three-wheeled manually-pulled rickshaws to replace these with affordable and convenient e-rickshaws," it added.
The court had earlier banned the plying of e-rickshaws saying that their unregulated operation is "hazardous to other traffic on the road as well as to citizens".
Asking the court to allow plying of e-rickshaws, the Centre said that more that 50,000 e-rickshaws operators' families are involved and difficulties are being faced by lakhs of Delhi commuters who were using such e-rickshaws for last mile connectivity.
Due to non-registration of e-rickshaws, the traffic police had earlier stated that passengers of e-rickshaws are not insured for injury or death as these vehicles do not have insurance cover. It was also said that as the operation of e-rickshaws is not regulated under the MVA, police are unable to prosecute the drivers.