Dwarka: E-rickshaws in the sub city are found violating traffic rules and the rules under the Motor Vehicle Act with impunity. With the battery fueled vehicles mushrooming on the roads traffic violation has become rampant. So much so that they have become a threat to road safety.
The rickshaws are breaking the rules by jumping red lights, taking wrong turn, stopping at undesignated places, overloading and many other ways. Not only this, they also violate the norms of the Motor Vehicle Acts by loading more passengers than the prescribed load and installing powerful batteries in place of standard battery of defined power by the authority.
These violations are not only posing a serious threat to commuters on the road but also are provoking violation of all set norms with the increase in the number of the e-rickshaws by the day in the city.
SK Sharma, a resident of Sector 6, said, “If you roam around the city you would definitely find e-rickshaws jumping red lights and taking wrong side to avoid long turn or signal. Earlier, they were carrying one or two passengers, but now you can see them carry minimum six passengers and one driver.
He pointed out that these are no longer rickshaws, but public carrier vehicle. They have a good speed of about 20 to 40 km per hour which could prove unsafe as it is disproportionate to its weak structure. Hence, you can say there are multiple violations of the law.
At metro stations like Sector 9, one can see how these e-rickshaws overload while going to Ramphal Chowk. “Overloading is not good for any vehicle and here at the metro station of Sector 14 and 9, you can see how the e-rickshaws are overloading the passengers. At Sector 14, they take five to six students to the IP University Campus at a time. Also, when you have to cross the metro station through the side of Gate Number 1 in the morning, you would find it very difficult as the entire road is occupied by them,” says Nisha Singh of Sector 14.
Besides overloading and high speed, there are many things in the e-rickshaws that create chaos on the road and pose risk to commuters.
AK Gupta a resident of Sector 9 says, “At Sector 9 metro station, the e-rickshaws have their own monopoly. They decide how many passengers have to be taken and what to be charged from them. If you resist, they would retaliate. They are overloaded and often take you from the wrong side to Ramphal Chowk Sector 7. I personally think such rickshaws should be strictly checked and made to abide by the laws.”
According to the Delhi Motor Vehicles Act, vehicles with motor power less than 250W and speed less than 25kmph are regarded as non-motorised for which there is no registration. But here in the city, defying the rule, these rickshaws are run with four batteries of 12V having power output of 650 to 850 Watts for more speed and power. Some of the rickshaws even have six batteries too.
Traffic officials say that they are designed to ferry only four people, including the driver having 250 Watt only. But they are running with 6-8 passengers including drivers and have power of 650-850 watt. Residents say though registration of such vehicles has started and they have brought under the law, yet there are many things to be done to make the e-rickshaw drivers aware about driving.
A resident of Sector 5, Vishal Gupta says, “The drivers of these vehicles should have proper dress and badge. Also, the authorities should take an initiative to prosecute them. When a pedestrian can be prosecuted for violating the traffic rules, why not they? But neither the transport department, nor the civic bodies are willing to shoulder their responsibilities.”