New Delhi, Dec 18: Lok Sabha today passed a bill to regularise e-rickshaws and provide for driving licences for these battery-operated vehicles, mostly plying in Delhi, with government promising to incorporate members' suggestions in rules to be framed once it becomes a law.
Replying to a debate, Gadkari also spoke about "pollution- free India" and the government's ambitious plan to convert polluting diesel buses to "e-buses."
He said the proposal is being discussed and he will come to Parliament once it is approved. Rejecting opposition's allegations that the bill was hurriedly brought to gain political mileage in poll-bound Delhi, Gadkari said the government was pushing for its early passage keeping in mind the plight of one crore poor rickshaw pullers who struggle for their daily bread and butter.
"The bill is brought not keeping in view Delhi elections," the Minister said, noting that drivers and passengers of e-rickshaws are poor people and a court order has affected over 2 lakh people who depend on them for their livelihood.
The Minister said an early passage of the bill will be a boon for one crore poor people who face a lot of health problems by plying cycle rickshaws manually.
Gadkari said government has decided to provide low interest loan to the rickshaw pullers belonging to poor backward and minority communities to buy e-rickshaws.