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Speak up Delhi: E-rick a bane more than a boon

The decision to ply battery operated e-rickshaws in the Capital has not provided any traffic solution, instead these vehicles have become a nuisance for other drivers as well as pedestrians

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Speak up Delhi: E-rick a bane more than a boon
There are 45,000 registered e-rickshaws in the Capital
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While the battery-run electronic rickshaw or e-rickshaws came to be known as environment-friendly means of transportation as well as a boost for last mile connectivity, however, over the years e-rickshaws have turned to be a menace.

Lighter than other vehicles and not confirming to any traffic norms, these electric rickshaws have a free run squeezing through the normal traffic causing long snarls. Besides being driven rashly and without any safety norms, the rickshaws frequently run into accidents.

From colony roads to main roads and queued up along Metro stations, these vehicles are parked haphazardly congesting the roads.

While the official figures suggest that around 45,000 e-rickshaws are registered with the government, officials said, at least over a lakh of these vehicles operate on city roads on a daily basis.

According to experts, electric rickshaws do not fall in the purview of the Motor Vehicles Act for being run on sub-250 watt motor with a maximum plying speed of up to 25 kmph.

Only earlier this year the traffic police had booked over 41,000 e-rickshaws for violations including improper parking, wrong-side driving, overtaking, speeding and having seated passengers above capacity, which can make the vehicle turn turtle.

E-rickshaws started mushrooming over city roads around 2012, as these were free from any government regulations. However, in 2015 the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways asked the government to make rules for battery-vehicles.

The Delhi government’s transport department has recently made it mandatory for e-rickshaw owners to link their vehicle registration with Aadhaar card. The Aam Aadmi Party government has also announced a subsidy of Rs 30,000 for e-rickshaws.

E-RICK OWNERS ASKED TO LINK AADHAAR

  • The AAP government has come out with a new directive stating it will now be mandatory for e-rickshaw​ owners to link their vehicle registration with an Aadhaar card in order to get Rs 30,000 subsidy from the Delhi government.
     
  • Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot asked the officials to make sure that the GPS device could be connected directly with the battery of the vehicle so that its location could be checked even when the engine is off.

E-rickshaws are the most tragic means of transportation in Delhi. The road around Metro stations is already congested with vehicles blocking the road, e-rickshaw add to the mess. People get injured in the crowd outside the station.  
-Rajan Mutreja, Janakpuri

Our roads are already encroached by hawkers, just as we try to manoeuvre our vehicle around them these e-rickshaw make it tough to drive. Especially in the market areas, where in process to get more passenger they enter small lanes, leaving no space for pedestrians to walk.
Jyoti, Karol Bagh

E-rickshaw drivers do not adhere to any of the traffic rules. The major reason for the traffic is haphazard parking, plus the way the over load their vehicle. The government is waiting for untoward incident to happen and then come with rules for e-rickshaws
Drishti Khanna, Shalimar Bagh  

Well, since there are no allotted rickshaws stands, they occupy more than half the road near Metro stations, which further adds to the traffic jam. Reckless driving by them in the middle of the roads cause accidents every now and then. This mode of transportation is vulnerable to meet with accidents as they go overboard with getting more passenger and overloading the rickshaw
Udhav Kainth, Rajender Place

The e-rickshaw drivers do not care about the public on the road. They once smashed into my aunt’s arm and were not even bothered to apologise. The government should take strict action against these drivers. There are so many who ply illegally, tranport depatment should ensurre they are registered and have proper documents to ply it  
Rishi Kapoor, Patel Nagar

EXPERT SPEAK

The e-rickshaws are mostly made in China and are light vehicles with a limited speed and seating capacity. The government besides registering all these vehicles and giving them valid permits must make separate lanes for these to ply. Segregation of non-motorised vehicles such as rickshaws, e-rickshaws and bicycles is crucial to manage traffic movement, avoid accidents and providing transport solutions as well. World over non-motorised vehicles move in separate lanes from the usual traffic. The problem is that there is no effective policy or planning. The government has to regulate the movement of e-rickshaw vehicles.”
P K Sarkar, head, transport planning at School of Planning and Architecture (SPA)

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