NEW DELHI: To supplement the aesthetic value of the heritage market and decongest the Walled City area, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation will only allow specially-designed cycle rickshaws to ply on the Chandni Chowk main road, being redeveloped as a pedestrian-friendly stretch, in limited numbers.
Registrations and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags will be made mandatory for each rickshaw running in the area so that their movement can be regulated.
The civic body has roped in experts from the industry and IIT Delhi to create a design of the humble mode of transport keeping in mind the safety and comfort of the passengers.
“A sub-committee comprising experts from IIT-Delhi to look into technical aspects of rickshaw’s design. The committee is likely to submit its report within 15-20 days after which the design will be finalised. Whoever wants to run rickshaw in Chandni Chowk will need to procure or purchase rickshaw prepared based on the approved design,” said Rajesh Goyal, deputy commissioner—remunerative project (RP) cell of the Corporation. The decision to allow specially-designed cycle rickshaws in Chandni Chowk was taken by the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC), which is carrying out the pedestrianisation and beautification of the about 1.3-km-long stretch— from Red Fort to Fatehpuri Mosque, which is closed for motorised vehicles from 9 am to 9 pm.
So far, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has received more than 100 applications seeking permits for the cycle rickshaws.
“Gradually, existing old and rickety rickshaws will be phased out. Considering the safety and comfort of the passengers, the height of the rickshaw will be kept low and seating will be made comfortable with sufficient space for two people. Efforts are being made to give these rickshaws a distinct identity,” said a government official, privy to the discussion on the design.
The rickshaws with the new design will only be permitted to move within the periphery of the Walled City.
Sanjay Goel, commissioner, North DMC said that rickshaw puller association had also agreed to adopt the design to be decided by the civic body.
“Only those people will be given permits to operate and identify cards who will get their rickshaw modified as per our design guidelines,” he said.