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E-rickshaws Causing Accidents in Delhi, Traffic Police Tells Court

The capital's traffic police has informed the Delhi High Court that the uncontrolled plying of e-rickshaws in the city has led to more than 29 accidents, in which two passengers lost their lives.

Raising serious concern over the accidents, the traffic police, in an affidavit, also said unregulated operation of the battery-operated vehicles tends to cause traffic problems and are causing nuisance on the roads.

It said that till June, 137 cases were registered against e-rickshaw drivers for rash and negligent driving.

E-rickshaws have been involved in 29 accidents. Two people died in two cases, while 29 others were injured in the remaining instances, said the affidavit.

A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sidharth Mridul will hear the case Thursday.

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The traffic police further submitted that passengers of e-rickshaws are not insured for injury or death as these vehicles do not have insurance.

It also said that as the operation of e-rickshaws is not regulated under the Motor Vehicles Act (MVA), police are unable to prosecute the drivers.

"A large number of e-rickshaws are operating all over Delhi without registration and are being driven without driver licences and that the drivers are not subjected to any background verification which is mandatory for all other public service vehicles operating in the state," the affidavit said.

The traffic police said the battery-operated rickshaws should be properly registered in accordance with the MVA, and there should be a zoning system and colour coding for streamlining their operation.

"Any further assembly or production of e-rickshaws should be strictly prohibited till a regulatory mechanism is put in place," the traffic police said.

The traffic police's response came on a plea seeking a ban on e-rickshaws, contending they had no registration numbers and the vehicles were putting passengers at risk since the latter cannot claim insurance in case of an accident.

The public interest litigation (PIL) said e-rickshaws operated with four batteries and were designed to ferry four people, including the driver. However, the drivers, at times, carried up to eight passengers, endangering their lives, it said.

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