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Take stand on e-rickshaw: Centre to L-G

ban on battery-operated vehicles z Road Transport ministry asks Delhi govt to inform HC accordingly.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi |
August 2, 2014 1:13:50 am
rickshaw_m E-rickshaws stayed off the roads on Friday after the High Court banned the vehicles. (Source: Express photo by Amit Mehra)

After the High Court banned e-rickshaws in the capital until rules are framed to operate them, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has written to the Delhi Chief Secretary and Lieutenant-Governor to “enable the government of Delhi to take a view on e-rickshaws and inform the High Court accordingly on the issue”.

The letter from the Road Transport and Highways quoted television reports on the High Court order on e-rickshaws plying in the capital. The letter made it clear that the ministry was writing to the government to “enable it to take a view on e-rickshaws and inform the High Court of Delhi accordingly”.

The ministry has attached the letter to Ranjit Kumar, Solicitor General of India, who has been directed by the Supreme Court to provide the Centre’s views on e-rickshaws.

In the letter, the ministry has elaborated on the reasons why it decided to increase the engine capacity after the “poor” and  the “dependents” requested the ministry to regularise e-rickshaws.

The ministry, in its recommendations sent to the Solicitor General of India, has proposed to amend the definition of ‘motor vehicle’ in sub section (28) of section 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, so as to exempt three-wheeler electric motor propelled vehicles with engine capacity of 650 watts or less and two-wheeler electric motor propelled vehicles with engine capacity of 250 watts or less from the purview of the Act.

“Matters relating to the standards of e-rickshaws and verification of drivers would thereafter be the responsibility of the local authorities. In this regard, it is proposed that this ministry would issue an advisory, as attached to all the state governments and local administrations at the appropriate time,” the communication sent to Kumar read.

It further stated that thousands of poor e-rickshaw drivers met the Minister of Road Transport and Highways in June 2014 and requested for regularisation of e-rickshaws. “These are important as they provide last-mile connectivity,” the ministry letter stated.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay on Friday claimed that all three corporations are ready to the undertake the registration process of e-rickshaws.

“We are just waiting for the Cabinet note to be sent to us,” he said.

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