With the number of e-rickshaws plying on Delhi roads on the increase, despite a ban on their sale, the Delhi government has decided to look at the option of asking the Delhi Police to register FIR’s against unregistered sellers.
“A number of steps are being looked at to stop the mushrooming of e-rickshaws on Delhi roads. Sealing of manufacturing units and filing FIRs against the unregistered dealers are the future course of action that is being contemplated. These proposals have been forwarded to the Lt-Governor for his approval,’’ a government official said.
While there is no official figure on the number of e-rickshaws plying in Delhi, it is estimated that one lakh e-rickshaws are operating in the city at present.
“The Transport department had asked the Centre for a policy to regulate e-rickshaws in the city or it would initiate action at its end. During a meeting of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on Thursday, the Delhi government was told that the ministry would have to form a technical committee to study the matter before taking a decision,’’ an official said.
The High Court had, in March, asked the Delhi government and the municipal corporations to stop passing the buck on regulating e-rickshaws in the capital.
Before the court had issued the directions, the Transport department had passed orders asking all e-rickshaw operators to get their vehicle type approved from a recognised government institute and register them under the Motor Vehicles Act.
“All e-rickshaw operators have to get permits for driving light commercial vehicles, a driving licence and PSV badges within six months. The e-rickshaw dealers have to get trade licences and dealerships issued in their names within three months. They have till first week of June to do so before we initiate a crackdown on them,’’ an official said.
The decision to register battery rickshaws under the Motors Vehicle Act was taken following a study by environment body TERI. Under the Delhi Motors Vehicles Act, vehicles with motor power less than 250W and speed less than 25 kmph are regarded as non-motorised. The battery-operated rickshaws are supposed to have motor power less than 250W.