The e-rickshaw controversy received a new twist on Wednesday with the counsel for petitioner Shanawaz Khan submitting an advertisement taken out by the state government in February 2013, which stated that e-rickshaw drivers will have six months to get registered and obtain licenses meant for drivers of TSRs and light commercial vehicles.
The advertisement further stated that e-rickshaw manufacturers have to get their designs approved and registered by the Transport department before being permitted to sell e-rickshaws in the city.
The advertisement, issued by the Transport department, had again appeared in newspapers on March 6 this year, advocate Sugriva Dubey told the court of Justices B D Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul. “Why are we here if you have already taken out these notifications? Why are you not implementing this?” the court asked.
The court also expressed its ire at the government, asking Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand to “burn the midnight oil” and come up with the policy on e-rickshaws speedily. “Why can’t you issue a general notice or circular? Let them operate under the Central Motor Vehicles Act,” the court said.
Anand told the court that the government was in the process of formulating rules for e-rickshaws and required two months to formulate the modalities. ‘Municipal corporations will notify the roads where e-rickshaws cannot ply, such as high-speed roads,” Anand said, adding that Delhi Police was to regulate the number of passengers and weight that the e-rickshaws will carry.
Reiterating the earlier arguments, the ASG sought the court’s direction to “accommodate e-rickshaws” and allow them to ply till the rules can be framed.
“We want you to do what you can do, you can’t ask us to do something that you can’t do under the law,” the court said. The matter will be taken up again on Thursday.
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