An ordinance to amend the Motor Vehicles Act today got the President's assent, paving the way for plying of e-rickshaws on roads of national capital region, sources said. "President Pranab Mukherjee has promulgated the Ordinance," the source in Transport Ministry said.
Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had called on the President yesterday and had explained to him the hardships faced by owners of battery-driven rickshaws. Gadkari had told the President that only minor amendments were required in the Motor Vehicles Act to ensure licences for running the vehicles, official sources said, adding that the outcome has been positive.
The Cabinet on December 24 had approved promulgation of the ordinance, as a Bill in this regard could not get through Parliament to pave the way for plying of e-rickshaws.
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.
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 25Km/h.
The government had notified the Central Motor Vehicles (16th Amendment) Rules, 2014. The new rules provide that e-rickshaws will be allowed to carry four passengers and 40 kg luggage while e-carts would transport goods up to 310 kg.