New Delhi: The Centre will next week notify the new rules for plying of e-rickshaws that would include mandatory driving licence and a maximum speed limit of 25 km per hour.
"The new Central Vehicles Rules 2014 will be notified next week", a senior official of Road Transport and Highways Ministry said here today.
Paving the way for plying of "special purpose battery operated vehicles", the new rules provides that e-rickshaw will be allowed to carry four passengers and 40 kg luggage while e-carts would transport goods up to 310 kg.
The Delhi High Court had on July 31 banned plying of e-rickshaws on the roads of the national capital saying "prima facie they are a hazard to other traffic as well as citizens".
The official said the new rules would be notified soon after Dusshera holidays.
"E-rickshaw means a special purpose battery operated vehicle having three wheels and intended to provide last mile connectivity for transport of passengers for hire or reward, provided such vehicle is constructed or adapted to carry not more than four passengers, excluding the driver, and not more than 40 kgs luggage in total; the netpower of its motor is not more than 2000 W and the maximum speed of the vehicle is not more than 25 kilometer per hour," the new rules said.
It said such vehicle should be constructed or adapted for carrying goods by providing a separate load body or compartment with the maximum weight of three hundred and ten kilograms in addition to driver.
The Centre has also made driving licences mandatory for both the battery operated vehicles.
"Every driving licence issued or renewed by a licensing authority to drive an E-rickshaw or E-cart shall be valid for a period of not more than three years from the date of issue, as the case may be, or till the validity of the driving licence, whichever is earlier," the final draft issued by Joint Secretary, Transport, Sanjay Bandopadhyaya said.
The rules vetted by the Law Ministry has also included provisions for fitness certificate for the vehicles which will be periodically examined before certificates are issued.
The government has also sought sample vehicles from e-rickshaw associations by November 30 for verification by a test agency as specified by the central government under rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.
While the samples of all models of brand new e-rickshaws will have to meet the specified standards and pass the safety test, the existing ones will be registered after one sample of each model passes tests by the government approved agencies, the rules state.
As per the new rules, the length of e-rickshaws has been increased by 20 centimetres from 2.6 meters to 2.8 meter so that passengers can sit comfortably. The notification also specifies safety standards for e-rickshaws including lights, wheel rims and the battery.
Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari had on September 16 announced that a final notification enabling plying of e-rickshaws would be issued after 10 days.