Problems galore for e-rickshaw drivers

While there was jubilation among those who received the subsidy for their e-rickshaws, there were others who had come at the Chhatrasal stadium to vent their grievances to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

As Kejriwal was about to conclude his speech at the cheque-distribution event on Wednesday, several e-rickshaw drivers got up from their seats with documents in hands. They were stopped by the security staff when they tried to approach Kejriwal with complaints.

Though the CM appealed to owners of old e-rickshaws to retrofit their vehicles in order to get them registered, many complained they have still not received documents.  

Aijad Ali says he has spent Rs 45,000 till now for retrofitting but the transport department has not issued him the registration certificate yet. 

“I have been to Kejriwal’s house thrice, contacted all the authorities but no one is listening. They keep saying it will come in one week but it has been three months now,” he said, while showing the fitness papers issued by Battery Rickshaw Sangh for his vehicle.  While the Chief Minister’s speech received loud applause at intervals and rickshaw owners who received the subsidy cheered, a section was left disappointed as the officials walked off the stage without addressing their queries. 

However, an announcement was made from the stage after some time that an official would be sent among them to listen to their complaints. 

“We were told that documents will only be issued after retrofitting. I have done everything and spent Rs 40,300 from my pocket. But haven’t received any papers till date. The March 9 camp is for those who want to retrofit. What should people like me do,” said Raj Kumar, who drives the e-rickshaw in Rohini West. 

There were others who wanted to approach Kejriwal regarding the traffic police seizing their vehicles and issuing challans despite having all the necessary documents. 

“Two days ago a traffic police officer stopped me and threatened to issue a challan. When I told him I have all the documents, he pointed towards the Agarwal Sweet shop in front of us and said he will only allow me to ply if I get him eight samosas and a box of sweets. He left me after I did so,” said Salim Ahmad. 

Another e-rickshaw owner, Pappan Kumar, said his rickshaw was held as he was plying on a road on which it was  banned. “I was told there are around 236 roads on which we cannot ply but nobody has information about it. We want the government to find a solution to this,” he said. 

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