Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rickshaw wallah woes

It's a fine art, the stacking of cases on a rickshaw: there are no ropes to hold it in place. Only gravity, and a fine sense of balance. It's a mild winter sun, making it easy for the rickshaw puller. In summer the same trip will be gruelling.
In this photo, you can see the license number of the rickshaw. I wrote earlier, about the rickshaw wallahs of Delhi, and their never-ending fight to earn a living, given the artificial restrictions on getting a license (confiscations of unlicensed rickshaws are a good source of income for officials).

In 2012, the courts ordered the Delhi Government to treat Non-Motorized Vehicles (NMVs) as an integral part of city traffic (instead of treating them as an unwanted nuisance). Rickshaws were to be legalized by providing a system of open registration. This has been happening now, and I hear from the Manushi website that random confiscations of rickshaws have reduced.

In Sep 2014, the Union Urban Development Ministry has ordered the Delhi Government to create lanes for NMV vehicles on all arterial roads without delay. Let's see how long that takes! 


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