Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari Tuesday announced that battery-powered rickshaws will continue to ply in Delhi and promised to regularise them."E-rickshaws with motor up to 650 watt will now be regarded as non-motorised vehicles. Transport department and traffic police cannot challan them from tomorrow (Wednesday)," Gadkari said at a rally of e-rickshaw owners and drivers at Ramlila Maidan here.Earlier, the ministry of road transport and highways under the UPA rule had amended certain rules in the Motor Vehicles Act, rendering such rickshaws illegal.Following the notification April 24, the Delhi government's transport department started impounding e-rickshaws."E-rickshaws must be bought from authorised dealers rather than local companies to avoid frauds. The government will ensure no police official challans e-rickshaw drivers," Gadkari said.
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, also present at the rally, said e-rickshaws have increased employment opportunities for women."Women cannot drive cycle rickshaws. E-rickshaw will help poor women to drive it and earn a living," said Lekhi.The e-rickshaw drivers hailed Gadkari's initiatives."Policeman and MCD officials ask for money and harass us. I hope they will not harass me now," said Rajesh, an e-rickshaw owner.