The MC House on Friday discussed the proposal for introduction and regularisation of e-rickshaws in the city before referring the matter to administration. On August 13, the administration had banned the use of e-rickshaws as they were not registered or licenced by any testing authority.
Nominated Councillor Surinder Bahga, who proposed the agenda, said, “Currently, the public transport system in the city is poor, and the Metro rail project is not coming any time soon. According to the rough estimates available, there are roughly 2,600 registered auto-rickshaws running on LPG while other 3,000 are registered. Diesel auto-rickshaws were banned in 2009, but around 5,000 of them continue to ply on city roads. Also, there are around 15,000 cycle rickshaws, out of which only 374 are registered with the MC.
“Therefore, there is a dire need for these e-rickshaws, which are environment-friendly, do not emit smoke or noise, can generate employment and have very low maintenance costs.”
Bahga said that an e-rickshaw can be fully charged at Rs. 12 and therefore, it will only require Rs. 24 per day as the operational cost. “It is economical for the public, and the rickshaw-pullers can treble their income if they switch to this mode of transport. It is priced between Rs 1.3 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh, which is less than the cost of an auto-rickshaw. Also, the illegal plying of auto-rickshaws will stop if these are encouraged. Around six percent of the pollution in the city is caused by diesel auto-rickshaws.”
He added that e-rickshaw are running successfully in Los Angeles, Portland and even Indian cities including Ahmedabad, Haridwar, Agra and Tripura. He also submitted a new Act by the Tripura government in this regard to the Commissioner for perusal.