Promulgation of ordinance for regularizing e-rickshaws in NCR region on January 7 has brought a ray of hope for nature lovers here. There is a general belief that environment friendly vehicles are necessary for a city like Dehradun, which has presently 99% fuel vehicles running on road.
Upendra Arora, owner Natraj Book Publishers in the capital said, "The idea of e-rickshaw in Dehradun is superb. I am all for it. It's an excellent idea towards conservation of environment of capital, which is much needed now in the backdrop of increasing population and development works. I would prefer e-rickshaw over other modes of transport."
Currently, there are around 20-25 e-rickshaws running in the capital. However, locals demand more e-rickshaws for evicting pollution caused by auto and buses.
"The green Doon is lost somewhere because of heavy air pollution. To preserve the greenery of the city, e-rickshaws are the best transport medium," said Col (retd) Sundar Lal, resident of GMS Road.
E-rickshaws were introduced in Dehradun around two years ago but were withdrawn after the Delhi High Court banned them last year because of 36 accidents caused due to rash driving.
Besides, Motor Vehicle Act 1988 disallows licence to drive a transport vehicle unless the driver has one-year prior experience. The ordinance has now granted driving license to those drivers having light motor vehicle (LMV) licence.
Also known by the name of Pedicab, the introductory charge for its ride is Rs 5 per 2 km.
RP Shukla, distributor Doon e-rickshaws in capital said: "It's good news for us. Because of the ban in Delhi, we could not find many takers for its franchisee in Dehradun. People here prefer travelling in e-rickshaws, as they are nature lovers. They also prefer to commute on foot and bicycles."
Sumeet Gopal, another distributor said the e-rickshaws are battery operated and have pedals too. Keeping in mind the geography of the place that has slopes in various areas, battery and pedals can be used simultaneously to cover distances.
The fresh ordinance allows only four passengers with luggage of maximum 40kg in e rickshaws. The maximum speed is also regulated for e-rickshaws, which is 25kmph.
Horse cart ride was once a prominent part of transport in Dalanwala area of capital. But, shared autos and buses replaced them gradually.
Sanjay Rawat, a resident of Old Survey Road said: "It was a great time when we moved around in horse cart. I know it cannot be revived, but at least, we can have some environment friendly vehicles for transport purpose."