The Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) ambitious plan to introduce 4,000 battery-operated e-rickshaws in the city has turned out to be a futile exercise, following problems of registration.
Since e-rickshaw is half a normal rickshaw and half an autorickshaw, neither the Delhi transport department, which registers motor vehicles, nor the MCD’s hackney carriage department, which registers rickshaws, is ready to register them. The end result is that they will not make it to the roads.
While the hackney carriage department registers only manually run rickshaws, the transport department of Delhi registers motor vehicles on the condition that they have strength of at least 240 watt or 0.3 Horse Power engine. The e-rickshaw is neither manually run and nor does it have a strong Horse Power, so its registration is falling in between the cracks.
“We have been getting requests from another company to launch e-rickshaws on the roads, but nobody is willing to take the responsibility of registering them. Companies that produce the rickshaws can’t ply them on the roads because it is illegal to run them without the required permit,” said a senior MCD official.
Another official of the MCD on conditions of anonymity, however, said that there are chances that the project may take off, if the MCD’s hackney carriage department can be convinced to register the rickshaws.
“A proposal needs to be brought in that will enable the department to start registering them,” he said.
In early 2010, the MCD had declared that the battery- operated eco-friendly vehicle will flood the city before Commonwealth Games. In
May 2010, it had launched 25 e-rickshaws amidst much fanfare to introduce zero-emission means of transport, but the company that was entrusted with the job declared its inability to comply. Now, newer companies are unable to get e-rickshaws on the roads due to the problem in registration.
The aim of the civic body was to replace existing nearly one lakh rickety conventional (paddled) rickshaws with the e-rickshaws.