The Maharashtra government has decided to take action against dealers and manufacturers of electric bikes who have illegally modified and sold it to people. The Transport Department carried out a special drive between May 23-25 during which period they inspected these e-bikes across the state.
According to data provided by the State Transport Department, they inspected 2238 e-bikes across Maharashtra which includes 197 e-bikes in Mumbai. Of these, the four RTOs of Tardeo, Andheri, Wadala and Borivali checked 16, 81, 54 and 46 e-bikes respectively.
Of these in Maharashtra, 605 e-bikes were found to be violating the rules and they also seized 422 e-bikes. In Mumbai, they found 143 e-bikes had violated the rules of which 93 e-bikes were seized. The main violation found was rigging the speeds of e-bikes which are locked at 25 kmph. The RTOs collected fines of Rs 5 lakh.
"No violation of the rule will be tolerated if you want to run these (low-speed e-bikes). We will levy fine of Rs 1 lakh on dealers of these e-bikes for retrofitting them. There is also a provision of levying fines of Rs 100 crore on manufacturers for violating rules," said Anil Parab, Maharashtra Transport Minister.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had called a meeting about the e-bikes issue earlier in the day, in which it was decided that strict action will be taken against dealers and manufacturers of modified e-bikes. E-bikes with less than 25 kmph speed don't require registration and are being run at higher speed after making some modifications.
E-bikes do not require a permit, licence and helmet. Parab added that these low speed e-bikes are generally considered a substitute for bicycles, but there were several complaints that they were run at a high speed.
If e-bikes are parked haphazardly on roads, the police will tow these vehicles and action will be taken against owners for obstructing traffic. Meanwhile, a transport department official said Maharashtra has around 93000 registered electric bikes among over one lakh e-vehicles.
On June 2, the state Transport Department started facility of faceless RTOs where people can simply use website for availing services. Minister Satej Patil launched Faceless RTOs wherein citizens can avail services without visiting RTOs.
The RTO services will be available with immediate effect from June 2. To avail the services on the Faceless platform, the applicant needs to have an Aadhar number linked with her/his mobile number. The applicant will have to enroll himself through Aadhar number verification using OTP sent on the registered mobile number. Only after the due verification related to the other personal information about the applicant from the Aadhar portal, the application will be proceeded.
“Once the personal details of the applicant, such as name, address, date of birth and mobile number are verified, the six important services will be made available online. The applicants will not have to come to RTOs for the same. They can make the online application sitting at home saving crucial time. The licenses or registration certificates will be sent to the applicant by post. This will also help in saving valuable paper, besides time, as there will be no need to take copies of the documents,” Patil said.
The six documents being provided on Faceless platform are – Secondary Registration Certificate, No Objection Certificate, Change of Address on Registration Certificate, Renewal of Driving License, Change of Address on License and Renewal of License. The Faceless platform will help to save the papers required for 18 to 20 lakh applications annually.