Rules amendment necessary for relaunch of rent-a-bike scheme in Delhi
The relaunch of the rent-a-bike scheme has once again hit a road block as the Delhi government recently found out that notifying the plan will require an amendment to the Delhi motor vehicles rules (DMVR).
The Delhi government first announced the scheme in August, 2015, under which it planned to introduce commercial two-wheelers for the first time in the national Capital. Currently, all motorcycles in Delhi are registered as private, including those used by delivery personnel.
The Delhi government had even issued licences to two operators. But, neither of them was able to get commercial (yellow) number plates for the two-wheelers as there was no such provision in the law.
Transport officials said amending the DMVR to include two-wheelers in the commercial segment will also open up the bike-taxi option in Delhi which is currently being offered by major mobile application based cab aggregators in neighbouring states such as Uttar Pradesh.
The scheme, once launched, will allow people to rent two-wheelers on hourly, daily and monthly basis. The proposal, planned as a means to augment last mile connectivity in Delhi, is similar to what already exists in Goa, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.
In September, the Delhi government said it will soon relaunch the rent-a-bike scheme, but now it is set to take longer as not only will it require amending the DMVR, but also a fee for issuing commercial permits to such two-wheelers, which hasn’t been decided yet.
“The DMVR in its present form doesn’t even mention two-wheelers in the commercial permit segment. So, this category will have to be added and the rate of the permit will have to be fixed. It is pertinent to note that for taxis and auto-rickshaws, the Delhi government had recently massively reduced the permit fees,” said a senior government official.
On October 14, the government had slashed the fees for taxis taking a new permit and renewing the same from the existing rate of Rs 1500 and Rs 2,000 to a flat rate of Rs 500. The revision specifically of the permit fee was done by amending the DMVR. Similarly, on August 13, the Kejriwal government had reduced the permit related fees for auto-rickshaws from Rs 1,000 to Rs 500.
To get a licence to operate under the rent-a-bike scheme, an operator would need to have at least five motorcycles. They would have to be commercially registered two-wheelers equipped with a fare metre, GPS system and the provision of other components similar to those required for four-wheel taxis.
The policy has also come under scrutiny by various stakeholders who believe commercialisation of this vehicle segment will result in a sudden boom in two-wheelers in Delhi. Out of over 11 million registered vehicles in Delhi, 7.3 million are two-wheelers, which are more polluting than four-wheelers, officials said.