3 years

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The Menace of e-Rickshaws

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The Delhi government is stumped over the unregulated growth of battery operated rickshaws.

Despite having championed clean fuel and promoted a battery-powered car, the Delhi government is stumped over the unregulated growth of battery operated rickshaws. These ‘e-rickshaws’, have become a common sight around metro stations in the past year and are considered a common cause of traffic jams on arterial roads like the Ring Road. Though in tune with the city administration’s transport policy as they do not cause air pollution, they are slow-moving vehicles running on small engines of upto 850 W, and cause traffic jams. Since they are illegal in Delhi, they run without license plates and thus lack accountability. There is no record of how many ply the roads, and neither the transport department nor civic bodies are willing to take charge of them. The transport department says they are non-motorised and thus not covered by the Delhi Motor Vehicles Act, making them the responsibility of the municipal corporation. But the civic body claims they are motorised, being powered by more than 250 W (the standard for non-motorised vehicles). After a fruitless effort to ban the sale of these vehicles within the city, The Energy and Recources Institute (TERI) has been roped in to resolve the matter. The first step is to count the rickshaws and find their dealers, who operate from Noida and Ghaziabad, outside the city.