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Limit number of e-rickshaws in Delhi to decongest roads, says panel

A 12-member expert panel set up on the directive of Delhi High Court has recommended limiting battery operated three-wheelers in the city.

delhi Updated: Nov 02, 2017 14:29 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhi roads,e-rickshaws
The report by the panel states that the number of e-rickshaws in the Capital has long crossed the one lakh mark, of which, only around 34,000 were registered with the transport department as on June 30.(Hindustan Times)

The chaos around Metro stations and bus terminals can ease if the number of e-rickshaws plying in the city is capped, an expert panel has suggested.

The 12-member committee, set up at the directive of Delhi High Court to frame an e-rickshaw policy, has recommended limiting the number of battery operated three-wheelers in the city to a certain number, like auto-rickshaws.

According to rules, only 1 lakh auto-rickshaws can ply in the city at present.

“At present there is no cap on the number of registered e-rickshaws. The committee opines, considering the road space and availability of other modes of transport, the number of e-rickshaw should be limited,” the report said.

It further states that the number of e-rickshaws in the Capital has long crossed the one lakh mark, of which, only around 34,000 were registered with the transport department as on June 30. The number rose to 37,500 by October 28 this year.

Making permanent license mandatory

On Sunday, Hindustan Times had reported that 27% of the registered e-rickshaws are running only on learner’s license.

The committee, which had officials from the transport department, civic agencies, urban development department, traffic police and power distribution companies, has suggested that the government stops handing out learner’s licences, without a test.

“Since, the issue of public safety is involved, it is recommended that the present system of granting registration on the basis of learning license should be discontinued. The committee recommends that the e-rickshaw should be registered only after the applicant obtains a permanent driving license,” read the report.

Badge and uniform

The committee has recommended that drivers must wear a uniform and should have a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) badge. The badge would be issued by the licensing authority after police verification.

Besides, it prohibits the driver from accommodating any passenger on the front seat with him/her. Parking of e-rickshaws would not be allowed on right of way, it suggested.

Replace cycle rickshaws

The committee suggested that cycle rickshaws should completely be replaced with smaller e-rickshaws.

The e-rickshaws approved by the ministry of road transport and highways, have maximum width of 1 metre and maximum length of 2.8 meters and are permitted to carry four passengers.

However, the panel has recommended designing smaller e-rickshaws too with maximum passenger capacity of two.

Charging and buying of e-ricks

The report has asked the MCDs, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the discoms to collaborate for arranging charging points at authorised parking lots. For disposal of the lead-acid batteries of the e-rickshaws, it asked the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to prepare guidelines.

In October, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) had legalised charging of e-rickshaws using domestic connections.

First Published: Nov 02, 2017 14:28 IST