Scores of e-rickshaw drivers on Saturday held a demonstration at the Jantar Mantar here demanding the city government to allow plying of the battery-operated vehicles in the national capital.
The protesters gathered in the heart of the city and voiced their concern on the issue. There are around 70,000 battery-operated rickshaws plying on roads in the national capital.
The Delhi High Court, on July 31 directed the Delhi government to stop e-rickshaws from plying on the roads of the national capital “as of now”, observing that “unregulated plying of vehicles on Delhi roads is prima facie a hazard to other traffic on road as well as the citizens”. Delhi Police and Transport Department, the same day had said that they would launch a crackdown on the e-rickshaws plying on streets here following the court’s order.
Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Muktesh Chander had then said that they will pass directions of impounding e-rickshaws to their officials through wireless message once they get a copy of the court’s order.
On June 17, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari while addressing a rally of e-rickshaw owners and drivers at Ramlila Maidan, had announced that e-rickshaws having motor till 650W would now be regarded as non-motorised vehicles and Transport Department and traffic police could not challan them.
After Gadkari’s intervention, all three municipal corporations had started the process of regularising these vehicles. However, following the court’s order, the Transport Department officials also said that their enforcement wing would start seizing such vehicles.