Chief Secretary heads panel, to come up with a report on the vehicles

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday constituted a committee comprising representatives from the manufacturers and drivers of e-rickshaws, Delhi Police and Commissioner Transport to come up with a report and guidelines on these pollution-free vehicles.

The Committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, has been instructed to submit its report within 15 days. On Tuesday, Ms. Dikshit chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the status of e-rickshaws. She underlined the need for bringing the vehicles under regulations so that no government agency, including the police, could harass them.

“The manufacturers and drivers requested the Chief Minister to allow such rickshaws to ply on roads in residential areas to provide connectivity between Metro stations. Ms. Dikshit concurred that the rickshaws should be allowed to ply as they are eco-friendly and suitable to cover short distances,” said an official.

Manufacturers of these e-rickshaw have demanded that since they are powered by a 250-watt battery, they do not come under the category of motorised vehicles and, therefore, should not require registration, insurance or driving licence.

The drivers have put forth that they are ready to ply under a zone system with different colours and only inside residential areas without taking on excess passengers.

Earlier this year, the Delhi Transport Department decided to crackdown on battery-powered e-rickshaws operating in the city for violating the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act. According to the Transport Department officials, e-rickshaws were prone to accidents and operated without any statutory clearance. The Department had also mulled action against the manufacturers and dealers of such rickshaws under relevant laws.

Tuesday’s meeting was attended by the Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami, Chief Secretary D.M. Spolia, Commissioner Transport and representatives of e-rickshaw manufacturers and drivers.

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