E-rickshaw Encumbrance: Policy suggestions only leaving a paper trail, implementation awaited - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

E-rickshaw Encumbrance: Policy suggestions only leaving a paper trail, implementation awaited

ByAakash Ghosh
Oct 05, 2023 06:28 AM IST

A game of passing the buck persists between the police and transport office as battery rickshaws continue to flood the streets of Lucknow unabated.

LUCKNOW As law enforcement and the transport department engage in a seemingly unending blame game, accusing each other of inaction regarding the escalating issue of unregulated e-rickshaws, their numbers continue to surge. Currently, there are a staggering 44,000 e-rickshaws in operation, a quantity that police argue significantly surpasses the city’s actual needs. With an inadequate monitoring system in place and delays in enforcing regulations, these three-wheelers enjoy preferential treatment not afforded to other public transport vehicles.

Currently, there are a staggering 44,000 e-rickshaws in operation, a quantity that police argue significantly surpasses the city’s actual needs. (Deepak Gupta)
Currently, there are a staggering 44,000 e-rickshaws in operation, a quantity that police argue significantly surpasses the city’s actual needs. (Deepak Gupta)

Colour-coded permits on the way “allegedly”

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

In response to the relentless spread of e-rickshaws across the city and numerous complaints, Joint Commissioner of Police Upendra Agarwal, in a letter dated September 30, suggested the adoption of a color-coded permit system. This proposed system would assign specific colors to each route or zone, making it easier for traffic police to identify and apprehend e-rickshaws operating beyond their designated areas.

However, Assistant Regional Transport Officer (Lucknow), Akhilesh Dwivedi, has indicated that this color-coded permit system is still in the planning phase and may take at least another two months to be implemented.

“E-rickshaws in U.P. are exempted from the condition of getting a permit and paying any tax though taking a registration is a must for them,” said Additional Transport Commissioner (enforcement) VK Sonakiya. With over 44,000 e-rickshaws plying the streets of Lucknow, they currently enjoy the liberty to operate in any area, locality, or zone without regulatory hindrances.

RTO’s claim of ‘10k unfit e-rickshaws’ paints doubtful picture

While a significant number of poorly maintained and overloaded e-rickshaws continue to navigate the city’s roads, the RTO claims that as many as 10,000 of them are unfit for operation in Lucknow.

According to Section 59 of the Motor Vehicles Act, public transport vehicles are required to be retired from service after a stipulated duration, allowing new vehicles to replace those that have expired. Presently, of the 44,000 registered e-rickshaws, the RTO asserts that only around 10,000 are currently unfit, and regular fitness checks are conducted.

“The RTO conducts mandatory fitness checks on e-rickshaws every two years, tracking their registration dates. Although we allow e-rickshaws to operate for around 5 to 7 years, we ensure that fitness checks are performed every two years. Traffic police are also authorized to conduct fitness checks on poorly maintained vehicles on the streets,” said Dwivedi.

10-day halt in registrations proves too short-lived

In light of the escalating number of e-rickshaws swarming the city, the RTO was advised by the U.P. Police to temporarily halt new registrations. This measure aimed to allow better management of existing e-rickshaws before introducing additional ones to Lucknow’s streets. However, this advisory was heeded for only 10 days in July, with a regional transport official stating, “We suspended it for around 10 days in July, but since then, we have been accepting registrations as usual.”

“E-rickshaws were initially designed for operation on feeder routes and not on main routes. However, the transport department does not have a state-level policy in this regard. E-rickshaws were promoted by the urban development department during the previous government, and they must have a policy pertaining to the operation of e-rickshaws,” added Sonakiya.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, June 15, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On