e-rickshaws finally get the legal stamp

e-rickshaws line up the side of a road in New Delhi. File photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Delhi High Court on Friday advised the Delhi Government to organise camps for registration of e-rickshaws to protect the operators from further loss of earnings. However, it refused to lift the ban on them plying on the Capital’s roads till the drivers have licences, registration certificates and insurance papers in their possession.

The Centre assured the court that it will address its concerns on Monday.

Counsel for the Centre and the State governments pleaded with a Division Bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul to lift the ban keeping in view the continuing loss of livelihood of the drivers and the difficulties faced by commuters. But the Bench said it could not suspend the application of the Motor Vehicles Act to this mode of transport.

Filing the draft guidelines to regulate the battery-operated rickshaws, the Centre sought two months to finalise and notify them and urged the Court to let the vehicles ply during the this period. But the Court declined, saying that it was as much concerned with their livelihood as with the safety of passengers and pedestrians.

As per the draft guidelines, the maximum speed for the e-rickshaws will be below 25 kmph and be allowed to carry four passengers, besides the maximum load of 50 kg.

Their licences will be renewed every three years and registration certificates will be issued to only those drivers who hold driving licences. Further, compensation to accident victims will be given as per provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, the guidelines say.

The guidelines also emphasise the fact that e-rickshaws are providing employment to thousands who have moved from manually pulled tricycles.

The Court had on July 31 ordered ban on vehicles plying on roads. It took note of an e-rickshaw hitting a woman which had resulted in the woman’s two-year-old son falling from her hands into a pan of hot oil leading to his death.

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Printable version | Oct 15, 2021 6:03:26 AM |

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