Centre unfazed, goes ahead with plans to regularise e-ricks

Despite the Delhi High Court banning e-rickshaws, the Centre is going ahead with plans to regularise their movement, said officials sources in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

In fact, hours after the High Court asked the Government to stop the plying of e-rickshaws in the National Capital, a senior Ministry official shot off a letter to all Chief Secretaries making a strong case for local regulation of electric motor propelled vehicles or e-rickshaws as they are popularly called.

This will be done by removing three wheeled electric motor powered e-rickshaws and carts from the definition of ‘motor vehicles’ in the Motor Vehicles Act.

The Ministry has already moved a Cabinet note in this respect and its finalisation is waiting for comments from other stake holders.

The Centre has advised States that the power to notify rules could be vested with local bodies which should include registration of the driver for a recommended fee of Rs. 150. This system should ensure that only a driver is allowed to own the vehicle, thus reducing the possibility of formation of cartels.

The local body could also decide the routes and the maximum number of vehicles that can ply on a single route. The Centre has suggested a uniform colour code – preferably sky-blue, yellow or purple – and name, address and phone number of the driver to be displayed prominently on the vehicle.

The advisory recommends a limit of four passengers with 50 kg of accompanying baggage.

According to the reasoning in the Ministry, the widespread availability of commercially viable technologies of electric motors below 1 kilowatt power capacity has led to the replacement of manually driven three- wheeled, passenger and goods carrying vehicles.

The Government wishes to bring them under the ambit of the law because they provide last mile connectivity to commuters as also give the marginalised an opportunity to earn a livelihood.

That is the reason, said an official, that three-wheeled electric motor propelled vehicles with engine capacity of less than 650 mw will be exempted from the purview of Section 2 (28) of the Motor Vehicles Act.

As a result, they are no longer covered under entry 35 of List III – Concurrent List in Schedule VII of the Constitution but by Entry 8 of List II (State List), which allows States to make laws for their operation.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 12:58:29 AM |

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