The local transport department is in a fix after raising the cap on the number of e-rickshaws allowed to ply in the city while the number of routes decided by authorities remains the same. Officials anticipate traffic congestion due to the sudden influx of additional e-rickshaws on city roads.
In October 2015, Noida’s transport department had sent a proposal to the Uttar Pradesh transport department for 250 e-rickshaws to ply over 12 routes on internal roads of various sectors. There was no progress on the proposal till last month when the Gautam Budh Nagar district administration suddenly increased the cap from 250 to 1,000 while the number of routes remained 12.
The cap was raised in view of the e-rickshaw distribution event by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. In view of the event, the transport department had come under pressure to issue learning licences at the cost of specific guidelines. So far, it has issued 310 learning licences against the 1,000 e-rickshaws for Noida on Tuesday.
However, local transport officials and the city police may find now find enforcement difficult.
Over 1,000 unregistered e-rickshaws are already on the police and transport department’s radar. Another 1,000 e-rickshaws that will soon be plying on the limited number of routes are likely to add to the traffic mess. Already, autorickshaws, e-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws cause traffic congestion in areas like Fortis intersection, Mamura crossing, Sector 15, 16, 18, City Centre and NH 24.
Transport officials are worried about the traffic situation, but are not ready to comment officially.
“The 12 routes and 250 e-rickshaws were decided after a joint survey by the transport department, police and Noida authority. The city already has 9,000 registered autos and another 5,000 cycle-rickshaws. Managing another 1,000 e-rickshaws will be a tough task and will add to the chaos. That is why we had put a cap of 250 on e-rickshaws here,” a senior transport official said.
City magistrate Bachhu Singh said, “All unauthorised e-rickshaws and autos will be seized. The government is promoting funds and finances so that people who are driving cycle-rickshaws can afford battery rickshaws.”