The Ministry of Road Transport & Highway has issued a notification amending the Motor Vehicles Act, allowing e-rickshaws to ply in New Delhi. Earlier, a Delhi HC judgment had banned e-rickshaws due to safety concerns. But, the Centre has recognized e-rickshaws as a special category and has come out with guidelines for their usage. This decision has been taking by the government after taking into consideration the loss of livelihood caused to many e-rickshaw drivers because of the ban.
What are e-rickshaws?
E-rickshaws or electric rickshaws are three wheeled vehicles that are operated with an electric motor. The notification defines e-rickshaws as a ‘special purpose battery operated vehicle having three wheels and intended to provide last mile connectivity for transport of passengers’.
An e-rickshaws cam carry a maximum of four passengers, excluding the driver, and luggage that weighs no more than 40 kg. The maximum allowed speed limit for e-rickshaws is 25 km/hr and the netpower of its motor cannot be more than 2,000 W.
Further, a license issued/renewed for an e-rickshaw will be valid only for three years from the date of issue.