National

Lok Sabha passes Bill to legalise E-Rickshaws in India

New Delhi, Dec 18: The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed a Bill to bring the operation of e-rickshaw under the ambit of the Motor Vehicles Act. Since the bill was passed, the e-rickshaws became legalised in the country. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2014 provides driving licences for battery-operated vehicles.

Replying to the debate on the bill, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said the passage of the bill will ensure protection of the environment as well as provide employment to the poor people.

"There are nearly one crore people in the country who pull rickshaws and carts. We should free them from manual labour and help them convert to e-rickshaws and carts," he said.

The bill also relaxes the rules for issuing driving licenses for those driving e-rickshaws.

During the debate, the Congress had expressed doubts over the safety of e-rickshaws and questioned whether they will be allowed to operate in VIP areas like near parliament.

Earlier, the government had framed guidelines, but the Delhi High Court had directed that e-rickshaws should be brought under the Motor Vehicles Act.

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