Kejriwal threatens agitation if e-rickshaw issue not resolved

Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday accused BJP-led central government of doing "nothing" for the e-rickshaw drivers while asking it to resolve the issue and ensure the plying of the vehicles within 10 to 15 days failing which they will launch an agitation.

PTI| Updated: Oct 08, 2014, 17:01 PM IST

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday accused BJP-led central government of doing "nothing" for the e-rickshaw drivers while asking it to resolve the issue and ensure the plying of the vehicles within 10 to 15 days failing which they will launch an agitation.

Pointing out "shortcomings" in the notification issued by the Union Road Transport and Highway Ministry to regularise e-rickshaws in the national capital, the former Delhi Chief Minister claimed that not a single e-rickshaw driver has benefited from it and also came up with solutions for the same.

"Four things have to be fulfilled by an e-rickshaw driver to make his vehicle ply on the roads. The model should be approved by a government agency. One has to get a driving licence but the person has to be Xth class pass. One should have insurance and a registration number like any other commercial vehicle," he said while speaking at a gathering of e-rickshaw drivers at Jantar Mantar here today.

There are several shortcomings in this policy, if every individual will go for testing and approval of his e-rickshaw, it will cost him around five lakh rupees. How can somebody who has spent Rs 80 thousand to one lakh to buy the vehicle shell out Rs five lakh for its testing, he said.

"Secondly, we have no problem with the licence clause but the education ceiling should be waived as there are a number of drivers who are illiterate," he said.

Kejriwal demanded that the Central government should call a meeting of all the e-rickshaw manufacturers within one week and ask them to submit one piece each of their models which can be tested. If the e-rickshaw is approved, all the vehicles of the same model can be allowed to ply on the roads.

"But there a number of rickshaws which were assembled or whose manufacturers are no longer in the market. Government should also come up with a plan to regularize these vehicles as well," he said.

Arguing that providing licences, insurance and registration numbers to around two lakh e-rickshaw drivers will prove to be a problem and will also become opening for corruption, Kejriwal said that the government should organize large-scale camps for the same.

"We are not forcing the government, they can find a solution in 10 to 15 days. Let the e-rickshaw play on the roads, tell the police not to stalk them. But if the government does not find a solution soon then we will struggle on the roads, we will launch a movement," he said.