Govt stops sale of e-rickshaws

With immediate effect; ban will be lifted after formulating policy for e-rickshaws.

Worried about the rising number of electric rickshaws or e-rickshaws on city roads, the Delhi transport department on Tuesday has banned further sale of 250 volt rickshaws.

With e-rickshaws not covered by any Act or policy, the transport department decided to stop their sale in the national capital till the formulation of a policy.

Speaking to Newsline on Tuesday, Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami said the sale of e-rickshaws would cease with immediate effect.

"These e-rickshaws may be useful, but the vehicle is not covered under any legislation such as the Motor Vehicles Act. In fact, the transport department does not even know how many e-rickshaws are plying on the streets of the Capital," Goswami said.

He said the department was working on a policy for e-rickshaws, which would be completed soon.

The Transport Minister said the ban would affect the sale of e-rickshaws that operate on a battery of 250 volts or more.

"There are two types of e-rickshaws those that use a battery of voltage less than 250 and those that operate on batteries above 250 volts. E-rickshaws using a battery less than 250 volts are small and present no immediate problems, but those above 250 volts are as big as an auto-rickshaw. Currently, there are about 1,500 such rickshaws on the streets," Goswami said.

"For now, all e-rickshaws are run by private operators and nothing is registered with the Delhi government. Even auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws in the city fall under specific regulations. They require licences and have to be registered," Goswami said.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had recently advocated the need to bring e-rickshaws under a regulatory framework. "The rickshaws have been proving beneficial in connecting places within a short radius. It might prove to be the best connectivity between the Metro stations and nearby colonies. However, the rising number of e-rickshaws may create difficulties at a later stage," Dikshit said last week.

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