Permits for 5,000 e-rickshaws, 25,000 CNG autos in 5 years

Permits for 5,000 e-rickshaws, 25,000 CNG autos in 5 years

Permits for 5,000 e-rickshaws, 25,000 CNG autos in 5 years

The Transport Department will issue permits for 5,000 e-rickshaws  in an effort to encourage electric vehicles in the city, besides allowing another 25,000 auto-rickshaws over the next five years to cater to the rising floating population.

The move comes days after the department announced that auto-rickshaw permits will be linked to Aadhaar through the new e-permits in the coming weeks.

"We suspect that more than 25,000 auto-rickshaws in the city do not have a valid permit. In the new regime, auto-rickshaws without e-permits will be seized," an official in the regional transport office (RTO) said.

Tuesday's notification increasing the auto-rickshaw quota for Bengaluru from 1.25 lakh to 1.55 lakh, however, comes with several conditions. Out of the 30,000 new permits, 25,000 will be issued to only auto-rickshaws fitted with LPG and CNG kits. Of them, 500 permits are reserved for women under a BBMP scheme.

Under the 'Pink Auto' welfare programme, the BBMP plans to provide a  subsidy of Rs 80,000 to 500 auto-rickshaws. The autos should be fitted with GPS and a panic button to ensure the  safety of the passenger as well as the  driver. As per the Transport Department notification, the permits are "to be reserved for women drivers... as per the guidelines issued by BBMP, including the colour scheme."

Push  to e-autos

The 5,000 permits reserved for e-rickshaws are part of the state government's efforts to encourage electric vehicles with a new policy seeking to make Bengaluru the 'electric vehicle capital of India' and attract Rs 31,000 crore worth of investment in the sector.

The department has allowed electric vehicle companies to get multiple e-rickshaw permits without submitting LPG/CNG/electric autorickshaw permits. "Individuals may not take to e-rickshaws. We hope companies will play the role of changemakers," an official said.

The department's earlier notification in 2016 allowing e-rickshaws had failed to bring the vehicles on to the roads. The traffic police had expressed concerns that the battery-powered rickshaws may lead to traffic congestion due to their due to their poor pickup and speed capabilities.

However, officials now hope new vehicles in the market, with a speed limit of 40 kmph and higher range per charge, might turn out to be suitable for the city roads.

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