To ease traffic jams, Uttar Pradesh may ban e-rickshaws on main routes
After finding out that e-rickshaws are chocking the traffic in cities all over the state, besides causing safety hazards, the Uttar Pradesh transport department is planning to ban these battery-driven vehicles on the main routes and make them operate only on feeder routes that are without other modes of public transportlucknow Updated: Feb 27, 2018 14:04 IST
After finding out that e-rickshaws are chocking the traffic in cities all over the state, besides causing safety hazards, the Uttar Pradesh transport department is planning to ban these battery-driven vehicles on the main routes and make them operate only on feeder routes that are without other modes of public transport. Delhi took similar steps in 2014.
Transport commissioner P Guru Prasad is expected to issue a circular in a day or two asking regional transport officers (RTOs) to identify routes where the plying of e-rickshaws needs to be prohibited in public interest.
“We have found that e-rickshaws are emerging as the main culprits of growing traffic jams and congestions in cities causing inconvenience and safety hazard to the public and, therefore, we feel the time has come for us to take a call on banning their operation on the main routes in all the cities,” a senior transport official, who did not wish to be identified, said.
He said a circular was being sent to all RTOs asking them to move a proposal at the district road safety council’s next meetings, proposing identification of routes in each city and issue orders by respective district police chiefs (SSPs/SPs) for prohibiting e-rickshaw operations on those routes and impose a fine of Rs 2000 on each violation.
Under the rules, SSP/SPs can restrict movement of any vehicle on any route within the city limits and section 177 of the MV Rules, 1998 empowers the regional transport authority under the divisional commissioner to designate any city road or route as the ‘main road/route.’
UP appears to have taken a cue from the Delhi government that had banned plying of e-rickshaws on 236 routes in the national capital in 2014.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 115 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, the lieutenant governor of the national capital territory of Delhi on being satisfied that it is necessary in the interest of public safety and convenience of general public to regulate the movement of e-rickshaws on Delhi/New Delhi roads, hereby prohibits the plying and idle parking of e-rickshaws on the roads mentioned in the schedule annexed to this notification,” said the notification issued by the Delhi government on December 11, 2014.
In UP, the estimated the number of registered and non-registered e-rickshaws is put at more than 1.50 lakh. “And their number is increasing fast and if they are not regulated immediately the situation will go out of control in the years to come,” said the official.
“Apart from causing jams, they are also putting public safety at risk since most of the e-rickshaws violate basic traffic rules by not pressuring horn, giving an indicator on turn, keeping headlights on in the night etc all to save the battery,” he said.
Present rules allow e-rickshaws to operate on any route they want to as they do not require to get a route-specific permit to ply unlike autos, tempos and buses. “e-rickshaws or w-carts are supposed to provide last mile connectivity to commuters on the routes where other modes of public transport are not available, like in colonies, etc and our objective is to strictly restrict them to such routes only,” the official said.
POSING SAFETY HAZARD
As per the Union ministry of transport and national highway’s last report on total number of road accidents classified according to types of vehicles primarily responsible for road accidents in 2016, e-rickshaws were found responsible in as many as 300 cases of road mishaps, killing 66 persons and leaving 415 injured, 339 of them grievously, in Uttar Pradesh.
In the country as a whole, e-rickshaws were found responsible in 1214 cases of road mishaps in which 380 persons were killed and 1266 injured, 470 of them grievously, in 2016.
First Published: Feb 27, 2018 14:04 IST