NEW DELHI: The government today approved relaxation in norms for e-rickshaw drivers, paving the way for the battery-operated vehicles to ply on national capital roads, which were banned by the Delhi High Court on safety concerns.
"Cabinet has approved relaxation in norms for driving licences for e-rickshaw drivers," a source said after the Cabinet meeting here.
"The norms have been relaxed for issuing licences for e-rickshaw drivers. 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 been waived," another source said.
E-rickshaw is a legal entity and any driver passing the driving test would now be granted a licence, he added.
The government in October had notified the rules for plying of e-rickshaws making driver’s licence mandatory for operating them and limiting the maximum speed to 25 km per hour.
The government had notified the Central Motor Vehicles (Sixteenth Amendment) Rules, 2014, which paves the way for plying of “special purpose battery operated vehicles”.
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.
The Delhi High Court had on July 31 banned plying of e-rickshaws on the roads of the national capital saying "prima facie they are a hazard to other traffic as well as citizens".
The rules define E-rickshaw as a special purpose battery operated vehicle "having three wheels and intended to provide last mile connectivity for transport of passengers for hire or reward".
These vehicles are "constructed or adapted to carry not more than four passengers, excluding the driver, and not more than 40 kgs luggage in total; the netpower of its motor is not more than 2000 W and the maximum speed of the vehicle is not more than 25 kilometer per hour".
"Every driving licence issued or renewed by a licensing authority to drive an e-rickshaw or e-cart shall be valid for a period of not more than three years from the date of issue, as the case may be, or till the validity of the driving licence, whichever is earlier," the notification has said.
Last month Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said the government was serious about resumption of battery- operated vehicles on Delhi roads.