As a pilot project to check feasibility, Supreme Court permits e-rickshaws in Matheran

The Supreme Court in the case In Re TN Godavarman v. Union Of India observed to check the feasibility to replace the hand-pulled rickshaws plying in the area and to introduce a few eco-friendly e-rickshaw in Matheran Eco-sensitive Zone further the court directed the State of Maharashtra to implement the proposal.

The working of the e-rickshaws introduced on experimental basis and about the steps taken by it to introduce eco-friendly e-rickshaws, an affidavit to be filled by the State Governments by providing the information of the above said, The Bench directed.

These e-vehicles would actually help and that too in a hilly terrain, we see people pulling rickshaws with 2-3 people sitting even in 2022 also, Justice Roa stated.

It was not possible to replace the hathgadis with paddle rickshaws, that given the hilly terrain But, he was hopeful that the e-rickshaws would help stated by the counsel of the applicant.

If done without proper planning and in a cavalier manner, the disposal of batteries of the e-rickshaws would be hazardous, concerns have been expressed on the last date of hearing by Mr. ADN Rao and Amicus Curiae.

A proposal is being floated by the Government to permit eco-friendly e-rickshaws in Matheran in place of hand-pulled rickshaws, appearing on behalf of the State of Maharashtra, Advocate, Mr. Rahul Chitnis stated.

The Advocate, Mr. Rahul Chitnis, further stated that for or 3 months, We suggested that we would have these e-rickshaws as a pilot project.

Identification of hathgadi pullers and provide them with e-rickshaws was suggested by Justice Rao to the State Government of Mharashtra.

Pullers of Matheran, the Hathgadi i.e., the hand-pulled rickshaw, represented by the applicant before the court in relation with the above said.

The Matheran Monitoring Committee had already undertaken the said exercise, Mr. Chitnis apprised the Bench

They have identified them and this is what monitoring committee has done further which the Justice Rao enquired about hathgadi pullers, that how many are there?

As there were 97 registered hathgadi pullers, it was informed to the bench.

For 3 months to introduce a few e-rickshaws in the concerned area as a pilot project and to talk to three e-rickshaw manufacturers in India and Thereafter an assessment would be made the Government has decided and was assured to the bench by Mr. Chitnis.

State proposes to introduce a few eco-friendly e-rickshaws on an experimental basis…The State Government is permitted to introduce a few e-rickshaws to find out feasibility, after a detailed study, the Government is in consultation with the manufacturers.

The Bench comprising of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and the justice B.R. Gavai observed while hearing an application in relation with Matheran eco-sensitive zone seeking for modification of notifications and permission for operation of eco-friendly e-rickshaws One of the notifications, regarding which modification was sought, imposed restriction on vehicular traffic in the area, except ambulance and fire engine and use of tractors for transportation of solid waste.

For 3 months to introduce a few e-rickshaws in the concerned area as a pilot project and to talk to three e-rickshaw manufacturers in India and thereafter an assessment would be made the Government has decided and was assured to the bench by Mr Chitnis.

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