June 17, 2014 1:08:00 am
The Delhi Transport department wrote to the Commerce Ministry recently, requesting it to take action against illegal import of e-rickshaw parts, majority of which are being imported from China.
During a a meeting held on e-rickshaws at the Chief Secretary’s office in April, the Delhi government had decided to send a letter to Union Secretary (Commerce) to bring the illegal operation of e-rickshaws to the notice of the Ministry, while ensuring all such items were imported in accordance with existing rules and regulations.
“Directorate of Revenue Intelligence is handling the matter and and has taken action in some cases for evasion of customs duty by wrong declaration of goods,’’ a Central government source said.
Manufacturers of the battery-operated three-wheelers said the vehicles were assembled with parts imported from China. “While batteries, chargers and tyre tubes used in these vehicles are locally available, the bodies, tyre controllers, motors and engines are imported from Shandong, Jiangsu Zheijiang and Henan in China,” a manufacturer said.
Meanwhile, according to a letter written by the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to the Delhi Transport department on May 29, a committee has been formed to examine the applicability of Motor Vehicles Laws and Rules to e-rickshaws in Delhi.
“Under the rules, each manufacturer or importer of motor vehicles — other than trailers and semi-trailers — needs to submit a prototype of the vehicle for a test by any of the seven accredited agencies to ensure compliance under the the Motor Vehicles Act. This has not been done by manufacturers and importers of the battery-operated rickshaws,’’ an official said.
The MoRTH letter also states that a proper investigation should be conducted to look into violations of the Motor Vehicles Act and other rules so that appropriate legal action can be initiated.
There are over 25,000 e-rickshaws plying in Delhi. To regulate the vehicles, the Transport department had earlier passed orders asking all e-rickshaw operators to get their vehicle types approved from a recognised, government institute and register them under the Motor Vehicles Act within three months.
However in the meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary in April, it was decided that sale of e-rickshaws should be stopped and immediate action should be taken against manufacturers, suppliers and dealers by registering FIRs against them.
This matter is under litigation in the Delhi High Court.
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