“Must be categorised as either motorised or non-motorised vehicle”

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Monday informed the Delhi High Court that it could not regulate battery-operated e-rickshaw unless the Delhi Government framed a policy categorising whether it is a motorised vehicle or non-motorised one.

Submitting an affidavit in response to a public interest litigation seeking a complete ban on plying of these vehicles in the Capital without registration and number plates before a Division Bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Jayant Nath, the civic body said that it regulated only non-motorised vehicles and rickshaws within its jurisdiction.

Pulling up the Transport Department of the Delhi Government and the three civic bodies for permitting battery-operated e-rickshaws to ply on the city roads without registration and number plates, the High Court had on May 12 directed the Department to make their registration mandatory and come up with a concrete policy on their operation.

The Bench had also asked the Department to fix the number of passengers and the weight the pollution-free vehicles could carry.

Stating that these vehicles could not be allowed to operate as a commercial vehicle, the Bench had also directed the Department to fix its make and the shape of its chassis.

The Bench had then observed that the vehicles not only created problems for the city’s traffic but were found carrying eight to ten passengers, more than its capacity. Not only that, these vehicles were also being used for carrying goods, the Bench observed, directing the Transport Department to frame a policy and submit it to the Court.

The Battery-Rickshaw Welfare Association in its plea said that it would not oppose any reasonable regulation which might be required in public interest and also in the interest of the battery-operated e-rickshaw operators.

It is worth mentioning here that the Delhi Police had this past January refused to register a case when the family member of a man who had died in an accident with an e-rickshaw had gone to them to lodge an FIR.

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