Cabinet approves e-rick ordinance

E-rickshaw Bill was stalled in Rajya Sabha

With an eye on the coming Assembly polls in Delhi, the Centre on Wednesday approved promulgation of an ordinance to pave the way for e-rickshaws getting back on the roads of the national capital region.

Though the government introduced  a Bill to allow the return of e-rickshaws, it could not get through Parliament.

E-rickshaws or battery-operated three-wheeler vehicles had gone off roads after Delhi High Court banned their plying in July over safety concerns.

“E-rickshaw Bill could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. I am happy to say that now all obstacles relating to e-rickshaws have been removed. The Union cabinet approved (promulgation of) this ordinance,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters here.

The government in October had notified the rules for plying of e-rickshaws, making driver's licence mandatory for operating them and limiting the maximum speed to 25 kmph.

As most e-rickshaws and e-cart drivers do not have a licence, the existing provisions debarred them from operating e-rickshaws 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 licences 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 was also 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,” he said.

Gadkari also said that he was making efforts to get financing at low interest rates for those who wanted to buy e-rickshaws, and a scheme was being formed.

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