New Delhi: Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today called on President Pranab Mukherjee regarding an Ordinance that will pave the way for plying of E-rickshaws on roads of national capital region.
Gadkari explained to the President the hardships faced by E-rickshaw owners and made it clear that only minor amendments were required in the Motor Vehicles Act to ensure licences for running the vehicles, official sources said, adding that the outcome has been positive.
The Cabinet on December 24 had approved promulgation of the ordinance, as a Bill in this regard could not get through Parliament to pave the way for plying of e-rickshaws. E-rickshaws, or battery-operated three-wheeler vehicles, had gone off roads after Delhi High Court banned their plying in July on safety concerns.
A Bill to regularise e-rickshaws was passed by the Lok Sabha in the just concluded winter session of Parliament but it is stuck in the Rajya Sabha.
The government in October had notified the rules for plying of e-rickshaws and making driver's licence mandatory for operating them and limiting the maximum speed to 25 kmph. As most of the e-rickshaws and e-carts drivers do not have licence, the existing provisions debarred them from operating e-rickshaw or e-cart for the next one year.
The Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2014, passed by the Lok Sabha on December 18, sought to remove difficulties in granting licence to drivers of e-rickshaws and e-carts by amending Section 7(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, and adding the definition of e-rickshaw and e-cart in the Act.
The provision that no person shall be granted a learner's licence to drive a commercial vehicle unless he or she has held a driving licence for light motor vehicle for at least one year has also been removed.
“First, we had decided to keep e-rickshaw and e-cart out of the purview of the Motor Vehicles Act, but after the Court decision we have incorporated this in the Act. We gave exemption in educational qualification and we will impart 10 days training to Association of Manufacturers,” Gadkari has said.
Gadkari has also said that he was making efforts to get financing at low interest rates for those desirous of buying e-rickshaws and a scheme was also being formed.
The government had notified the Central Motor Vehicles (16th Amendment) Rules, 2014.
The new rules provide that e-rickshaws will be allowed to carry four passengers and 40 kg luggage while e-carts would transport goods up to 310 kg.