E-rickshaws, running on 650W engines, will be considered as non-motorised vehicles, Nitin Gadkari, Union transport minister, announced on Tuesday.
This means e-rickshaw operators need not remain under the fear of police anymore. "Now, transport department and traffic police cannot challan them," Gadkari said. He was speaking at a rally of e-rickshaw owners and drivers at the Ram Lila grounds.
The local municipality has been entrusted with the responsibility of framing policies for e-rickshaws."Municipal Corporation in bigger cities and Municipal council in smaller cities have to regularise e-rickshaws by registering them with a nominal fee and form a policy for their smooth operations," he said.
After notification of new decision, for their vehicle-registration, the owners of e-rickshaws have to approach civic body to get their vehicles registered on their names. "Corporation will have to give identity cards to drivers so that they can easily earn their livelihood. Owners of e-rickshaws will have to drive the vehicle themselves; they cannot rent it out," Gadkari said.
The decision will bring relief to e-rickshaw operators in New Delhi, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and other states where these vehicles are plying. "Transport department and traffic police officials cannot challan e-rickshaws carrying four people besides the driver. These vehicles can also ferry luggage up to 50kg."
To encourage cycle rickshaw operators to buy these e-rickshaws, Gadkari announced loans at 3% interest rate and named the scheme Deen Dayal e-rickshaw scheme.