Two Bills were passed in the West Bengal Assembly on Friday, allowing plying of e-rickshaws as last mile connectivity in the state.
The West Bengal Motor Vehicles Tax (Amendment) Bill and the West Bengal Additional Tax and One-Time Tax on Motor vehicles (Amendment) Bill were passed Friday afternoon.
State Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari told the Assembly that thousands of people will be benefitted with the introduction of e-rickshaws, as they will ply for last minute connectivity following all necessary norms and guidelines that need to be in place for the safety and security of passengers.
As stated in the Bills, an e-rickshaw is a battery operated vehicle intended to provide last minute connectivity. Such vehicles would not be allowed to carry more than four passengers at a time apart from the driver and the maximum capacity of luggage would be 40 kg. Moreover, the motor fitted in the vehicles should be more than 2,000 watt and the maximum speed of the vehicles would not be more than 25 km per hour.
The registration of the vehicles will be an option, which would solve the existing problems caused due to unchecked plying of totos in suburban areas in the state.
It may be mentioned that thousands of people in the state earn their livelihood by driving totos. Keeping this in mind, the state government had also submitted the issue before the Calcutta High Court and is in search of a way out so that toto drivers do not end up jobless. It has been learnt that a list containing names of toto owners has been prepared and they would be given preference for replacing their totos with e-rickshaw.