Court notice over plea seeking ban on e-rickshaw

New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the city government and municipal corporations and sought their responses on a petition seeking a ban on battery powered rickshaws which allegedly are safety hazards.

A division bench of Chief Justice V.N. Ramana and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog sought the response from the transport department, civic agencies and the police by Jan 8, 2014.

The plea sought directions to the authorities to take measures to stop the operation of e-rickshaws, as the three-wheeled commercial vehicle is popularly known.

The petition was filed by social worker Shehnwaz Khan who contended that the e-rickshaws had no registration numbers.

The plea said e-rickshaws were operated with four batteries and designed to ferry four people, including the driver.

Khan alleged that the drivers of these vehicles, at times, seated up to eight passengers, endangering their lives.

Advocate Sugriv Dubey, appearing for petitioner, said the vehicles have neither registration number nor insurance cover or fitness certificates.

The counsel contended that the e-rickshaws should be allowed to operate only if they agreed to carry a maximum of three passengers.

"These vehicles put passengers at risk since in case of a serious accident the victims cannot even claim insurance," he said.

The petition said that with a speed ranging between 20-40 km per hour, the e-rickshaws were not only a safety hazard but also a reason for traffic jams in many areas.