A Delhi court has directed the police to ensure a complete ban on 'jugaad' vehicles or cycle rickshaws fitted with modified scooter engines in the city terming these as "menace" to public safety.
The court took on record a police report that 32 such rickshaws have been impounded in Jaitpur area in south-east Delhi alone and said that the possibility of thousands of such three-wheelers with illegal scooter engines plying in entire Delhi cannot be ruled out.
It also observed that under the Motor Vehicle Act, these 'jugaads' rickshaws do not even come under the ambit of any motor vehicle and therefore cannot ply on roads of Delhi.
The court sought an action taken report from the police by February 17 in this regard. The order came in an accident case involving a rashly-driven 'jugaad' rickshaw that crushed a motorcyclist's leg in Jaitpur last month.
"Plying of even cycle rickshaws itself is not allowed within jurisdiction of South Delhi Municipal Corporation and New Delhi Municipal Council. 32 such 'jugaads' have been found plying illegally in the jurisdiction of police station Jaitpur only. There is every possibility that thousands of such modified cycle rickshaws with the illegal scooter engines might be plying in the entire Delhi.
"Plying of such 'jugaads' is a menace to the safety and security of the pedestrian and other road users as has happened in the case wherein two motorcycles were hit by such cycle rickshaws and leg of one of the bikers was totally crushed," Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) Presiding Officer R K Chauhan said.
The court further said that Delhi Police Commissioner and Commissioner (Transport) Delhi government were required to be intimated about the menace of such rickshaws to ensure these are not seen on the roads.
"In order to ensure that such cycle rickshaws don't ply on the roads of Delhi so as to protect the road users from the menace of these 'jugaad' vehicles, an intimation needs to be sent to the Commissioner of Police, Delhi and Commissioner (Transport) Delhi government for taking action in that regard to ensure that no such cycle rickshaw would ply to ensure safety and security of pedestrian as well as road users of Delhi and avoid such accident," the court said.
It also took note of the compliance report filed by DCP, South-east stating that all station house officers have been directed to check plying of such vehicles.
"Accordingly in view of the report of ACP, Sarita Vihar filed today before this court, DCP South-East district and DCP (traffic) South and South-East district are directed to ensure that no such cycle rickshaw fitted with modified scooter engine/jugaad is plying within the jurisdiction of south east district.
"Both the DCPs are directed to take report from each SHO within its jurisdiction regarding number of such jugaads within the jurisdiction of each SHO concerned and action taken by him," it said.