Kejriwal sets 'deadline' for govt to solve e-rick issue

Threatens agitation if no solution is offered for drivers

The Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal has threatened to launch an agitation in case the Union government fails to ensure the plying of e-rickshaws on city roads within 10-15 days.

Addressing a rally of e-rickshaw drivers at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday, Kejriwal said the recent notification by the Union Road Transport and Highway Ministry to regularise e-rickshaws is fraught with ‘shortcomings’.

He claimed that only a section of e-rickshaw drivers will benefit from the government’s recent move.  

For e-rickshaws to get back on the roads, the ministry’s notification mandates fulfilment of four criteria – government approval for vehicle model, insurance, registration number and licence for the driver.

“If every individual will go for testing and approval of e-rickshaw, it will cost him Rs 5 lakh. How can someone, who has spent Rs 80,000 to one lakh to buy the vehicle, shell out Rs five lakh for its testing,” Kejriwal said, while informing e-rickshaw drivers about the shortcomings of the government’s notification.

He said the government should do away with education ceiling clause while doling out licence for e-rickshaw drivers. According to the new guidelines, only those with class 10 certificates are to given drivers’ licence.

The former chief minister asked the Union government to call a meeting of the e-rickshaw manufacturers within 48 hours, in order to fast track the process of clearance to e-rickshaw models.

“But there many e-rickshaws which were assembled or whose manufacturers are no longer in the market. The government should come up with a plan to regularise these vehicles as well,” he said.

The AAP has asked the government to organise large-scale camps for issuing licence and registration numbers to over 2 lakh e-rickshaw drivers. Kejriwal claimed that it will help cut through government red-tape and corruption.

“We are not forcing the government. It can come up with a solution in 10-15 days. Let the e-rickshaws ply on the roads. Ask the police not to stalk them. And if the government does not find a solution soon then we will struggle on the roads, we will launch a movement,” said Kejriwal.

During the rally, several e-rickshaw drivers shared how their livelihood has been impacted since the Delhi High Court ban on plying vehicles on Delhi roads over safety issues.

The 7-year-old Munni, daughter of an e-rickshaw driver, also shared her family’s hardship.

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