New Delhi: Paving the way for plying of e-rickshaws on roads of national capital region, the Cabinet Wednesday approved promulgation of an ordinance as a Bill in this regard could not get through Parliament.
E-rickshaws or battery-operated three-wheeler vehicles had gone off roads after Delhi High Court banned their plying in July on safety concerns.
A Bill to regularise e-rickshaws was passed by the Lok Sabha in the just concluded winter session of Parliament but it is stuck in the Rajya Sabha.
"E-rickshaw Bill could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. I am happy to say that now all obstacles relating to e-rickshaw have been removed. Today the Cabinet approved (promulgation) this ordinance," Nitin Gadkari said here.
The government in October had notified the rules for plying of e-rickshaws and making driver's licence mandatory for operating them and limiting the maximum speed to 25 kmph.
As most of the e-rickshaws and e-carts drivers do not have licence, the existing provisions debarred them from operating e-rickshaw or e-cart for the next one year.
The Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill, 2014, passed by the Lok Sabha on December 18, sought to remove difficulties in granting licence to drivers of e-rickshaws and e-carts by amending Section 7(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, and adding the definition of e-rickshaw and e-cart in the Act.
The provision that no person shall be granted a learner's licence to drive a commercial vehicle unless he or she has held a driving licence for light motor vehicle for at least one year has also been removed.
"First we had decided to keep e-rickshaw and e-cart out of the purview of the Motor Vehicles Act, but after the court decision we have incorporated this in the Act. We gave exemption in educational qualification and we will impart 10 days training to Association of Manufacturers," he said.
Gadkari also said that he was making efforts to get the finances at low interest rates for those desirous of buying e-rickshaws and a scheme was also being formed.
The government had notified the Central Motor Vehicles (16th Amendment) Rules, 2014.
The new rules provide that e-rickshaw will be allowed to carry four passengers and 40 kg luggage while e-carts would transport goods up to 310 kg.