E-rickshaw ban to continue till Aug 14
The ban on plying of e-rickshaws in the capital will continue till Aug 14 as the Delhi High Court Monday refused to vacate the stay.
A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul said it will examine on the next date of hearing the proposal of the central government which submitted that the state transport department will issue identity card-cum-temporary permission to drive e-rickshaws till Oct 15.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand asked the court to allow plying of e-rickshaws as the issue was of utmost sensitivity as lakhs of people and their livelihood are being affected due to the ban.
The court, however, refused to lift the ban, and asked the central government to file its proposal with an affidavit.
On the basis of the bench's suggestions, the Centre came out with a proposal saying, "the state transport department agrees to open various centres for extra hours all over Delhi to consider grant of commercial driving licences for e-rickshaw operators subject to fulfilling the requisite conditions".
The proposal also stated, "e-rickshaw associations may make an insurance corpus of Rs.10 lakh to cover cases of any grievous hurt or fatal incident for disbursement".
In case of grievous hurt, compensation of Rs.25,000 would be given to the victim and in the case of death by accident caused by e-rickshaw, Rs.1 lakh would be given as compensation.
The proposal also said the Delhi government will issue identity marks and stickers for e-rickshaws.
The high court had earlier made it clear that it will not allow the plying of unregulated e-rickshaws in the capital unless the vehicles have registration and insurance and their drivers have licences.
The central government, on the last date of hearing, submitted draft guidelines to the court to regulate plying of e-rickshaws 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 should be suspended. Two committees have been set up for recommending rules on the issue.
"The finalisation of these rules may take two months due to compliance of procedural modalities and effective deliberations for framing such rules," said the draft guidelines.
As per the draft guidelines, the e-rickshaws will run at a maximum speed of less than 25 km per hour with a maximum capacity of four people and 50-kg load.
(Posted on 11-08-2014)