On Friday, leaders from both the BJP and the Delhi Congress met Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung and submitted memorandums that e-rickshaws be allowed to ply in the capital.
In their memorandum, the BJP cited the use of e-rickshaws and fancy pedicabs across the world as a feeder service to the urban public transport system. The BJP said e-rickshaws should be allowed in Delhi as well.
“Although the operation of e-rickshaws has not been regulated in Delhi, they are working as a cheap feeder system to the trunk public transport system in the city. It has also helped poor people in the city to get self-employment on a large scale,” a senior BJP leader said.
For once, the Congress and the BJP seemed to agree on something as the Congress delegation that met the L-G also cited the loss of employment that such a ban would lead to. “Over two lakh people will be out of work and will starve if the ban is enforced,” Arvinder Singh Lovely, president, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) said.
While the BJP delegation informed the L-G that steps for public safety and other regulatory measures were being taken by the Union Transport Ministry, both the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party used the opportunity to criticise the government.
“The current situation has come up after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari made an announcement that e-rickshaws will not be banned without any forethought. Now people will be left without jobs,” Lovely said.
AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal struck out at both the BJP and the Congress. He tweeted, “Bjp Cong playing dirty politics on e-rick issue? Lakhs of people rendered jobless. What does court want? A policy to regulate them...Since Feb, first Cong didn’t do anything. Now BJP sitting on it. All it needs is 24 hrs to draft a policy...Rather than meet LG n score brownie points, BJP shud draft a policy, present it in court on mon and get the ban lifted.”
In the context of the dispute in the High Court, the BJP delegation has requested that the Delhi government be given three months time to put together the necessary legal framework to regulate e-rickshaws in Delhi.
The delegation also requested that while this is being done, e-rickshaw operations in Delhi be regulated as per provision u/s 28 of the Delhi Police Act.
Meanwhile, traffic police impounded a total of 302 e-rickshaws on Friday.