The fact that they are environment-friendly was never in doubt but a sudden surge in the number of e-rickshaws in the city has the planners and civic agencies worried.
With no permission required to run them along the already congested streets of the Capital, the state government is now exploring options to regulate them.
Delhi transport minister Ramakant Goswami has called a meeting on Monday of the heads of the three municipal corporations, New Delhi Municipal Council, environment department and officials from his own department to find a way to check the rising number of e-rickshaws.
While the cycle-rickshaws need permission from the civic bodies (and they are not allowed to operate in the Lutyen’s Delhi) auto-rickshaws and taxis need permit from the transport department. But there is no law under which the e-rickshaws could be registered or given permits.
“The government promotes them as they are eco-friendly. And unlike cycle rickshaws they are not tough on the pullers either. But there is absolutely no check on them,” said a transport department official, requesting anonymity.
To run auto-rickshaws and taxis one needs to get a commercial driver’s licence and a driver’s badge. But anyone pulling an e-rickshaw require no training, service badge or approval.
“These vehicles are not covered under the Motor Vehicles Act and ameding the law is a long-drawn process. Since these vehicles also occupy space on the road, run amid other motor vehicles and carry passengers, we need a system to monitor them,” Goswami said.
“Registering them with the transport department and civic agencies can be one way to monitor them. But we need to discuss it,” said an official.