New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal has claimed that Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkarihas assured him that guidelines for the use of e-rickshaws will be formulated within ten days.
Kejriwal said that Gadkari is taking suggestions from a cross-section of society to determine how best e- rickshaw (electric rickshaw) can ply on Delhi roads.
Last week, the Delhi High Court had banned the plying of e-rickshaws in the national capital until the road transport ministry came out with appropriate commuter and administrative-friendly guidelines.
The court had banned the e-rickshaws after a child had died of burn injuries after he fell from his mother's arms into frying pan at a sweet shop when she was hit by an e-rickshaw from behind.
The government as instructed by the court had framed e-rickshaw guidelines and brought them under the ambit of the Motor Vehicles Act on August 11.
The guidelines for operation of e-rickshaws include issuance of licenses, identification-cum-registration and insurance.
There are an estimated 100,000 e-rickshaws plying on Delhi's streets. Introduced in 2010 and operated by unlicensed drivers, they are less environmentally harmful and a cheap way to get around the city compared to traditional gas-powered auto rickshaws and cars that are too expensive for many people to buy.
"I feel the new policy that has been drafted will benefit the new e rickshaws and it will be a relief for the old 70-80 thousand e rickshaws which already exist," said General Secretary Battery Rickshaw Welfare Association, Anu Sharma.
E rickshaws provide the much needed last mile connectivity to residents but have also been in the news because of various mishaps.
Overall, about 150,000 families have benefited in Delhi NCR (National Capital Region) alone, and outside Delhi, the figure will be larger, claimed an e-rickshaw seller.