All registered cycle rickshaws will soon be replaced with electric rickshaws, under the free ‘e-rickshaw’ scheme of the state government. Some 407 registered rickshaw pullers of the district will benefit, officials said on Thursday.
“It has been eight months since the state government issued an order to replace all registered cycle rickshaws in state’s 75 districts with e-rickshaws, which will be provided for free. The state is in the final phase of implementation of the ‘e-rickshaw’ scheme, and by March 2015, all manual rickshaws will be replaced with e-rickshaws,” Inder Sen Singh, project officer, District Urban Development Agency, told TOI. Of 407 registered rickshaws under different civic agencies, 270 are in the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam-administered areas, 48 in Modinagar, 75 in Loni and 14 in Muradnagar.
However, according to one estimate, there are 2.48 lakh cycle rickshaws in the city, including those which are not registered with the civic agencies.
But, there are conditions attached to the scheme. E-rickshaws will not be allowed to ply on main roads or on auto routes, but only in colonies and near bus stations, and the routes will be decided by the regional transport office, said Sing, adding it would also be mandatory for rickshaw owners to have a license.
Many rickshaw pullers seem to be unaware of the scheme. “We are not aware of any such scheme but it does not make any difference as my rickshaw is not registered,” Monu Singh, a rickshaw puller in the city.
Chanrajeet Yadav, the president of auto driver’s union, Ghaziabad, said, “E-rickshaws are already plying on many routes in the city and they are already giving competition to us and now, this scheme.”
Akhilesh Yadav-led government has plans to replace as many as 2.48 lakh cycle rickshaws in the state with battery-run three-wheelers, a promise his ruling Samajwadi Party made in its 2012 assembly election manifesto, and earmarked Rs 800 crore for the scheme after coming to power.