ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Battery Rickshaws in New Delhi and the Regulation Conundrum

Battery rickshaws have become a common sight on the streets of New Delhi in the past few years. They play an important role in the urban transport system and are a significant provider of employment. However, despite their proliferation, they remain unregulated and this has become the subject of loud and often antagonistic debate in the media and considerable confusion amongst the judiciary, transport department and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. This article attempts to explain the conundrum behind this regulatory confusion and discusses the attitudes of battery rickshaw drivers to regulation.

1 Rise of the Battery Rickshaw

The past three to four years have seen the rapid rise of the battery-powered electric rickshaw (battery rickshaws) in New Delhi. They first appeared on the streets of the capital around 2010-11 when a few hundred battery rickshaws began making short passenger trips in a small number of areas, mostly in west Delhi and around the Delhi University campus. Since then their numbers have grown and they are now a common sight across the city. Though there are currently no official figures on the number of battery rickshaws operating in New Delhi, unofficial estimates put the number on the streets at around 1 lakh (The Times of India 2014a).

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.