E-rickshaw sealing drive turns violent in Noida, 12 drivers arrested
Drivers pelt stones at cops, RTO officials, block traffic for 4 hours on Dadri-Surajpur-Challera Roadnoida Updated: Mar 15, 2018 23:08 IST
High voltage drama played out on the Dadri-Surajpur-Challera Road on Thursday when a drive against erring e-rickshaw drivers by the Noida Police and officials of the regional transport office (RTO) turned violent.
Drivers pelted stones at the enforcement team and blocked traffic for over four hours.
The police have arrested 12 e-rickshaw drivers and a FIR has been lodged on charges of assault or use of criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, wrongful confinement and unlawful assembly, among others.
Anil Kumar Shai, station house officer of the Sector 20 police station, said, “All 12 arrested are e-rickshaw drivers, who will be produced in court on Friday. Nobody sustained serious injury in the incident.”
In a major crackdown against unregistered e-rickshaws running on city roads, the Noida Police, along with the RTO, conducted a day-long special drive on Thursday. During the drive, over 50 e-rickshaws were impounded.
The drive started around 1pm with several e-rickshaws being seized. Officials said that as more e-rickshaw drivers came to know about the drive, they detached the tyres and batteries from their vehicles to prevent their vehicles from being seized.
“When we came to know about this move by the e-rickshaw drivers, we sent additional force to control them and prevent a jam. By 3pm, 24 vehicles, without batteries and tyres, were blocking roads near the Sector 15 Metro station,” said Anil Kumar Jha, superintendent of police (traffic), Gautam Budh Nagar.
Around 4pm, the e-rickshaw drivers gathered on the road between Sector 15 and Sector 16 Metro stations, bringing the traffic to a grinding halt.
When the police and RTO officials asked them to clear the road, the gathering turned violent, pelted stones at them. Additional police force had to be called in to arrest the violent drivers. The road was cleared by 8pm.
Thursday’s drive was conducted along the arterial road connecting sectors 1, 15, 16 and 18, starting at Gol Chakkar and ending at the Sector 18 Metro station. Around 70 personnel from the offices of the traffic police, civil police and RTO, including superintendent of police (traffic) and three assistant regional transport officers (ARTOs), took part in the impounding drive.
Officials said that unregulated and unauthorised e-rickshaws have been causing snarls and accidents in the city. Officials involved in the drive informed that just about 5% of all e-rickshaws plying on roads were registered.
“Since these vehicles are not registered, it is difficult to book them under the Motor Vehicles Act, when they violate traffic rules. We conducted this special drive to ensure that unregistered e-rickshaws can be taken off the roads,” said Anil Kumar Jha, superintendent of police (traffic), Gautam Budh Nagar.
The impounded vehicles were taken to D-Park in Sector 62 and the Botanical Garden traffic pit. They will be released once they are registered at the RTO.
A similar drive was conducted by the transport department in February. The e-rickshaw drivers’ body has protested against such seizures, claiming that when they purchased the e-rickshaws, they were not told about the need to register the vehicle.