Tripura shows way to regulate e-ricks

August 5, 2014


 The Times of India (Delhi)

 Biswendu.Bhattacharjee | Agartala


While the Delhi high court on Monday agreed to review its decision to ban e-rickshaws in the capital, Tripura has long brought these vehicles within the ambit of legislation and is probably the first state to do so.Replicating the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the state framed the `Tripura Battery Operated Rickshaws Rules 2014′ to regulate the movement of battery-operated rickshaws in urban areas of the state.The rules, notified in January , state that a driving licence is mandatory for e-rickshaw drivers, who must not be less than 20 years of age. It will be valid for three years, unless cancelled or suspended if the driver flouts rules.

The licence fee of the battery-operated rickshaws is Rs 300, renewal fee Rs 100, registration fee Rs 1,000 and trade certificate fee Rs 1,000. The operator has to pay Rs 100 as annual road tax.

The rules say engineers of urban local bodies of the rank of executive engineers must issue fitness certificates for the vehicles after a technical assessment.

Each battery-operated rickshaw will have to provide insurance cover to protect the riders. An e-rickshaw can seat four people at the most and can ply only within the jurisdiction of urban local bodies. Registration numbers will be provided once the applications are screened.

“We have notified 55 routes in which these rickshaws can operate. All fall within the Agartala Municipal Area. So far, we have received 531 applications from operators,“ said Agartala mayor Prafullajit Sinha.

For six months, these rickshaws had operated in Tripura cities without any registration and licence.

Crackdown continues, drivers want quick solution

August 5, 2014

Hindustan Times (Delhi)

HT Correspondent  


NEW DELHI: The Delhi Traffic Police continued its crackdown of e-rickshaws on Monday. The Delhi High Court has on Thursday ordered the Delhi government to temporarily take the vehicles off the roads.

The daily number of vehicles seized went down considerably as drivers are now scared and hesitant to take out their vehicles, traffic officials said.

In the first two days after the high court ban, 302 vehicles were seized. The police said a consolidated figure would be released by the department in a few days.

“Many drivers are refraining from taking their vehicles out, which has made our work easier,” said a senior traffic official.

Though police have successfully implemented the ban, the drivers have been left with no source of income. “If the government does take a decision, lakhs of families will either die of starvation or will be forced to commit suicide,” said Mohammad Sohail, an e-rickshaw driver in Burari.

Thousands of rickshaw drivers had gathered at Jantar Mantar on Sunday to find a solution to their problem at the Aam Aadmi Party’s rally. “This is the problem of over three lakh drivers and their families and this will definitely be a decisive factor for the Delhi elections,” claimed Divakar Kumar another rickshaw driver.

According to an estimate, more than two lakh e-rickshaws ply in the city. These rickshaws can at best ferry four passengers and an additional weight of 25-50 kg luggage. They were supposed to be re gistered with the municipal corporations, which were scheduled to issue identity cards to the drivers.

In the last week of June, the three municipal corporations took up the task of preparing policies for e-rickshaws after Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari announced the regularisation of these vehicles.



E-rickshaw ban: HC to hear review plea

August 5, 2014

 Hindustan Times (Delhi)

HT Correspondent  

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea seeking a review of its order banning e-rickshaws on the roads in the Capital.

                                        ARUN SHARMA/ HT FILE PHOTO

The HC, on July 31, had ordered a ban on these vehicles, saying they are prima facie a hazard to other traffic as well as citizens.

A bench of Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul said it will hear the application filed by the Battery Rickshaw Welfare Association on Tuesday.

“You are very well aware of the traffic regulations. Until and unless it (e-rickshaws) is regulated, how can it be permitted?” the bench asked.

Advocate RK Kapoor, appearing for the association, sought urgent hearing of the case saying an advisory had been issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to the chief secretaries of all the state governments and Union territories regarding regulation of electric motor propelled three-wheeled vehicles.

Kapoor contended that this advisory had not been brought to the attention of the court.

The application contended that lakhs of families depend upon e-rickshaws for their livelihood “and in the interest of justice, this court may review/modify the order dated July 31”.

There are around 70,000 battery-operated rickshaws plying on roads in the national capital.

The association pleaded that since the ministry proposes to amend the Motor Vehicles Act for regulating such e-rickshaws, they may be permitted to operate, subject to the compliance of any regulations, which may be issued by the Delhi traf fic police or the local administration.

It also sought directions to the authorities to act upon the ministry’s advisory which “specifically provides that to provide last-mile connectivity to the commuters and livelihood to manually operated three-wheeled rickshaws and carts, it was decided to facilitate their replacement with electric motor powered three-wheeled rickshaws and carts”.

On July 31, the HC had ordered a ban on these vehicles saying they were illegally running and “prima facie a hazard to other traffic as well as citizens”.



Police need more teeth to regulate errant e-vehicles

July 31, 2014

Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Soumya Pillai  


NEW DELHI: The wait for the regularisation process of e-rickshaws has led to another death in the capital.A two-and-a-half-year-old boy was flung from his mother’s lap into a pot of boiling sugar syrup in east Delhi’s Trilokpuri on Tuesday, after an errant e-rickshaw hit the woman carrying the baby.The incident, traffic cops claimed, was not an isolated one.

According to the data maintained by Delhi Traffic Police, till July 15 this year, e-rickshaws had been involved in more than 36 accidents, which have caused two fatalities. The death of Dev — Tuesday’s victim — has pushed the death toll to three with clamour growing louder for the regularisation of the batterypowered vehicles.

Overloading, not following traffic signals and driving in the wrong direction are some of the offences that these battery operated rickshaws are often guilty of, the traf fic cops claimed.

Earlier in June, an announcement for regularising these threewheeler vehicles had come as relief for the traffic police officers who had to manage these unruly vehicles on the roads which seldom followed rules.

But the delay in execution of these regularisation laws by the corporation has only helped making matters worse.

“We have drafted all rules and regulations to be followed by the e-rickshaw drivers once they come under the corporation’s purview. Soon we will be able to control the accidents caused by these rickshaws,” said a senior official from NDMC.

Known for providing last-mile connectivity, these compact vehicles ply on narrow lanes of congested colonies and often create panic among pedestrians.

In Tuesday’s incident Dev’s mother was taking him for a walk to the nearby market when an an e-rickshaw is said to have come out of nowhere and hit the duo.

Traffic officers corroborated that not obeying traffic signals, carrying more passengers than the vehicle’s designated space and not switching on the headlights at night not only endangered the lives of the passengers in the rickshaws but also pedestrians and other drivers on the road.