Government’s Warfare against Cycle RickshawsPresentation Transcript
1 Laws, Liberty and Livelihood Government’s Warfare against Citizen Friendly, Eco-Friendly Cycle Rickshaws Manushi Sangathan, Phone: 011-23916437 Email: email@example.com
2 Eco-Friendly Vehicle
Cycle Rickshaws are the most eco-friendly vehicles; they do not consume fuels, do not cause atmospheric pollution.
Each rickshaw covers a distance of 20-25 kms per day amounting to a total of 120-150 lakh kms for city’s 600,000 rickshaws.
If rickshaws are removed from Delhi, it would involve an additional petrol expense of nearly 500,000 litres per day at the cost of Rs. 1.25 crores.
This totals an yearly expense of Rs 450 crores for Delhi alone.
3 An Important Source of Livelihood
Cycle rickshaw provides aninstant means of livelihoodforpoor rural migrants.Within a few hours of arriving in the city, a rickshaw puller is able to not only earn enough to buy food the day but also to save something for sending home.
Savings from rickshaw pulling are sent home andhelp sustain their familiesin the village.
Farming would be even more crisis ridden and more destitute people will flood the cities without these urban remittances
4 Contribution to Village Economy Click to play the video clip
5 User Friendly and Cost Efficient
Rickshaws are the most user friendly and inexpensive mode of transport for short distance travel. A cycle rickshaw charges Rs 5-10 for a commute that would cost Rs 20-30 in an auto.
It provides doorstep service and is willing to take you from point to point at all odd hours.
It is the most efficient vehicle for plying in the narrow lanes and by lanes of the old city.
6 Convenient for Local Shopping
With car parking becoming a major problem, even those with cars prefer taking cycle rickshaws for local marketing. It will wait for the housewife as she goes from shop to shop for her purchases and carry the goods to her doorstep.
7 Cheap Transport for Local Schools Pullers provide safe, personalized doorstep transport service for school children even in middle class colonies.
8 Efficient feeder service for metro rail and the city’s bus service which run on main routes. Rickshaws queued outside Metro stations in Delhi
9 Multi-Purpose Vehicle
Rickshaws provide a low cost mode of garbage collection. Carrying garbage in motorized transport will add to pollution and increase costs.
10 Multi-Purpose Vehicle The most cost efficient method for carrying goods over short distances and extensively used by street vendors.
11 A Home and Rest Place Away from Home
12 Linkages with Small Scale Industry Generates employment in small-scale industry that produces rickshaw parts as well as a source of livelihood for lakhs of mechanics all over India who assemble and repair this vehicle.
13 Govt. Policy Against Market Demand
If rickshaws have carved out a distinct space for themselves alongside motorized vehicles-- despite bans, use of police danda and vicious controls on granting licenses-- does it not prove that even in metropolitan cities people need and vote for this vehicle every day by paying for its service?
14 Is the Continuation of Cycle Rickshaws a Sign of Backwardness? Municipal officials have enacted draconian policies against cycle rickshaws by playing on the prejudice amongst the elite sections of society that this vehicle is a sign and symbol of India’s backwardness and pre modern past. Facts tell a different tale:
The number of cycle rickshaws has kept increasing despite the rapid proliferation of fancy cars and other modern means of transport, including the metro.
Till about three decades ago rickshaws were found plying mainly in the walled city area and lower middle class colonies of Delhi. Today, one sees them plying in many middle and upper class colonies.
As per MCD’s own estimates there are nearly 600,000 cycle rickshaws in Delhi alone, including trolley rickshaws for carrying goods and garbage.
15 Discriminatory Policies for Rickshaws There are no limits on the numbers of cars or trucks that can ply in the city though they cause air pollution.But… The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has fixed a quota of99,000rickshaw licenses for the entire city of Delhi that has been reportedly furtherreduced to 52,000 Actual number of licenses issued up to 2007:89, 429. This has failed to keep down the number of rickshaws because of growing public demand for their services.
16 Web of Illegality
A person who owns a truck or bus or taxi may hire whoever he/she may like to ply that vehicle BUT in the case of cycle rickshawsowner must himself be a puller.
Punishment for letting another person, including your own brother ply your rickshaw?
Confiscation and destructionof the vehicle!
Punishment for plying a rickshaw that you do not own yourself?
Confiscation and destructionof the vehicle!
Punishment for plying an unlicensed rickshaw?
Confiscation and destructionof vehicle!
17 Web of Illegality…
Does this mean the unlicensed six out of seven rickshaws are illegal?
In actual fact, even the licensed rickshaws are trapped in illegality due to several absurd regulations that govern this trade.
A person can own hundreds of trucks, buses and even jet planes BUT owning more than one cycle rickshaw is illegal.
Punishment for owning more than one cycle rickshaw? Confiscation and destruction of the vehicle by the Municipal Corporation
18 Trapped in a Web of Illegality Since almost all cycle rickshaws are owned by entrepreneurs who rent them out at Rs 20 to 35 per day. Thus even the 89,429 odd licensed rickshaws are in effect “illegal”. Contrary to the official version that the rickshaw trade is controlled by mafia dons, most rickshaw owners started their lives as pullers or mechanics
Implications of “Owner MUST be Puller” Policy
Airplanes are not confiscated if the owner is not piloting all or any of his planes;
Trucks, buses and taxis are not confiscated if the owners hire others to drive them.
By enacting a law that prohibits a person from owning more than one rickshaw and by insisting that “owner must also be puller” the government has in fact legislated that:
A person who begins his life as a puller, must die as a puller;
The poor must remain manual laborers all their lives;
The poor are not allowed to become even petty entrepreneurs.
20 Example of Losses Due to Fines and Confiscation
As per MCD’s own admission before the Supreme Court, 60,000 rickshaws were destroyed in 2007 alone. This happens every year.
Today, with each new rickshaw costing over Rs 6000 this means a capital loss of Rs 360,000,000.
For every rickshaw destroyed, at least 10 are caught and released after fines and bribes.
21 Earning Potential of Rickshaw Trade The cycle rickshaw represents the most efficient use of capital and labour both for the puller as well as for the vehicle owner. An Owner:
InvestsRs 4000-6000in a new new cycle rickshaw;
Earns a rent ofRs 25 to 35per day, depending on the state of the vehicle and the area in which it is plying.
Spends on an averageRs 300 per month on repairsand maintenance of the vehicle,bribesto the police and municipality, andlosses due to finesand confiscation of the vehicle.
Thus at an average ofRs 20 per dayper vehicle an owner gets an income ofRs 400 to 600 per month.This means he recovers the cost of his vehicle within ten months.
22 Earning Potential of Rickshaw Trade… Puller PaysRs 25 to 35 perday rent for the vehicle;
Earns betweenRs 125 to 200 per daydepending on the number of hours and distances he pulls the rickshaw as well as the area in which he plies.
Thus a rickshaw pullerearns at least 5 to 8 timesof what he pays by by way of rent.
By contrast, a man who hires a three-wheeler auto rickshaw pays Rs 250 per day towards the rental for the vehicle and earns on an average Rs 300 per day.
If renting taxis does not make a person a mafia don, how does he become a mafia by renting the humble rickshaw?
23 The Drama of Raids and Confiscation Drives
Both licensed and unlicensed rickshaws are confiscated under the guise of checking licenses.Licensed rickshaws are special targets.
Rickshaw owners then run after municipal officials andtry to strike a bargainso that they can get the vehicle released before it is entered in the record book.
Once the vehicle is entered in the record book, the minimum fine for its release is Rs 325 if the owner manages to get it released the same day by bringing in the required documents to “prove” that the owner was actually pulling it.
Each day it stays in municipal yard, the owner pays astore charge ofRs. 25 per dayplus expenses on paper work all of which amount to no less than Rs 400.
After 15 days the vehicle cannot be released. It is meant to be crushed and sold as junk.This limit has now been reduced to 7 days.
Even licensed rickshaws are frequently impounded on the ground that they are causing road congestion.By contrast, cars or buses are never impounded simply because there is a traffic jam on the road.
24 Drama of Checking Licenses Click on photo for video clip
25 Click on photo for video clip Hundreds of rickshaws confiscated daily and dumped in municipal yards on the plea that they cause road congestion
26 Confiscated Rickshaws Rickshaws in MCD Yard
27 MCD Junk Yard under Safdarjang Flyover Click on photo for video clip
28 Malafide and Devious Defamation
When the owner of an airline acquires an additional fleet of planes, or a truck owner manages to expand his fleet to several hundred vehicles, he is celebrated as a successful entrepreneur. BUT when a person comes to acquire a few dozen or a few hundred rickshaws he gets to be stigmatized as a mafia don.
A new rickshaw costs about 6000 Rs. Even if you own 100 rickshaws, it represents a total capital of no more than Rs 600, 000.By contrast a truck costs no less than Rs 10 lakhs. Thus a person owning 100 trucks or buses owns a capital of no less than 10 crores.
Why is upward mobility and entrepreneurial spirit treated as a virtual crime for those among the poor who manage to rise higher in life?
29 Why Pullers Find it Impossible to be Owners MCD policy says “Owner must be Puller” but most rickshaws are in fact rented by seasonal migrants from entrepreneurs who own a 5 to 500 rickshaws.
Only the very poor opt to ply rickshaws because the work is back breaking. They rarely have the means to invest for a new or even second hand vehicle.
Pullers stay in the city for some months, save money and go home for some days or weeks.They have no way to keep their vehicles safe during their absence from the city.
Even when they are in the city, most sleep on pavements or share small jhuggis with fellow migrants. They have no place to park their vehicle safely at night.
If they rent out or even let a family member drive their vehicle when they go to village, it will be confiscated.
30 Why Owning a Rickshaw is a High Risk Venture Click on photo for video clip
31 Licenses not Available to Pullers
Getting a rickshaw license almost impossible for a poor man because unlike registration for cars, trucks and busesrickshaw registration is not open all year round.It is open and shut arbitrarily as and when MCD pleases.
Pullers can neither afford the time required in getting a license nor the risks involved in owning a rickshaw.
Licenses don’t come withoutheavy bribes and cumbersome legal procedures.
Since 2007, MCD has altogether stopped issuing or renewing puller licenses.
To avoid risk of losing the vehicle, pullers therefore find it convenient torentfrom fleet owners.That makes their existence also illegal.
32 Making it Impossible for Pullers to Own Rickshaws Click on photo for interview of a puller
33 Impossibility of Pullers Getting Licenses Click on photo for video clip
34 When a Poor Man Tries to Own a Rickshaw Deepak Suri’s Story: Click on photo for video
35 Devious Procedures for Issuing Licenses Testimony of Rickshaw Owner Darshan Singh Popli: Click on photo for video
36 Code Words on rickshaws to indicate the “deal” made with MCD staff for unlicensed rickshaws
37 Why Licensed Rickshaws are Special Targets of Confiscation Testimony of Rickshaw Owner, Shashi Kant Bhushan: Click on photo for video
38 Daily Unprovoked Beatings by Police
Large parts of the city have been arbitrarily declared as NO Entry Zones for rickshaws
Result? Daily bribes and beatings
The traffic police routinely confiscate rickshaws to “decongest” roads.
Click on photo for video
If the vehicle is confiscated and sent to the municipal store, even if it is a licensed rickshaw being driven by its rightful owner, the minimum fine required to get it released is Rs 325, if done within a day. Normally it takes about 3-4 days of running around and fines, bribes and other expenses worth Rs 400-600 to get a vehicle released.
39 Real Reason for Denying Licenses to Actual Pullers
As seasonal migrants pullers; come and go as their situation demands. Even while in city they are constantly on the move. Therefore, it is very difficult for municipal staff and the police to collect daily bribes from lakhs of floating population of pullers in the city.
It is far easier for them to collect bribes from rickshaw fleet owners who have set places and workshops where their vehicles are parked and repaired. It is also easy for them to keep a count of the vehicles owned by each fleet operator and collect monthly payments as well as be feasted liquor and food every now and then.
40 Loss of Income
Rickshaw owners lose at least Rs 12crores per month in bribes,at Rs 200 per vehicle for payoffs.
In addition, there is regular loss of income due to confiscation and fines.
As per its admission in the High Court, the MCDdestroys and junks at least 60,000 rickshawsevery year involving aloss of Rs 360,000,000per year because today it costs over Rs 6000 to replace a lost vehicle.
Add to it the bribes collected by the police from each puller on account of arbitrary Entry bans on rickshaws almost everywhere.
41 In Delhi alone the terror unleashed by the License-Quota-Raid-Raj on rickshaw-owners leads to loss of income through bribes and confiscation of rickshaws worth In Delhi alone the terror unleashed by theLicense-Quota-Raid-Rajon rickshaw-owners and pullers leads to loss of income through bribes and confiscation of rickshaws worth Rs. 200 croresper year
42 Who is the real mafia? Story of Sundar’s losses Many rickshaw owners started their lives as pullers and slowly built a fleet. Click on photo for video
43 The Tribulations of Amarjeet Singh Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Poor Crushed by Government Click on photo for video
44 Choli Daman ka Saath
Rickshaw owners are defamed as mafia dons. In actual fact, rickshaw pullers need the service of fleet owners as much as the owners need them to keep their vehicles moving.
Rickshaw operators rent them the vehicle without any surety or security. Within a few hours they are able to not only earn enough to buy food the day but also to save something for sending home.
Since most pullers cannot afford proper shelter, they find greater safety in sleeping with other pullers in the rickshaw yards managed by the owners.
Fleet owners act as informal banks for pullers.Owners help them in emergencies specially if relations are good and long standing.
Some basic services like water, rest points and social life provided in the yard.
Owners provide some protection from harassment and arrest by the police
If a rented vehicle is confiscated, puller runs no risk. He is back to work within hours by renting out another rickshaw.
45 Rickshaw Yard: Home away from Home Click on photo for video clip
46 Hemraj Vs. Delhi Commissioner of Police
In the case of Hemraj Vs. C.P. Delhi (2006), The Delhi High Court made an order that implied the complete ban of cycle rickshaws from the Chandni Chowk area, from Red Fort to Fatehpuri Chowk to avoid traffic congestion and ensure its smooth flow.
In the same order cycle rickshaws have been prohibited on the arterial roads of Delhi.
The reason provided by the High Court was that these roads are meant for motorized transport and the plying of rickshaws would slow down the traffic, resulting in congestion.
47 Resolution 613: An Unjust Order
In 2008 The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), under Byelaw 3(1) and “in pursuance of Delhi High Court Orders (Hemraj and Others vs. CP and Others, 2006) issued an Order (Resolution No. 613) providing for forcible seizure of unlicensed cycle rickshaws and rickshaws plying on arterial roads in MCD areas and consequent scrapping and dismantling of the same within 7 days of being impounded.
Considering that, under the current flawed Cycle-Rickshaw bye-laws, almost every rickshaw in this city is techincally “illegal” or unlicenced, this Resolution is impractical, unsustainable, and absurd.
The provisions of the new policy arbitrarily and illegally discriminates against the cycle rickshaw pullers and cycle rickshaws in favor of other modes of transportation.
48 All Delhi Rickshaw Operators’ Union vs. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi
In 2008 TheAll Delhi Cycle Rickshaw Operators’ Union, with the full support of Manushi Sangathan, filed a petition against the MCD, stating that Resolution No. 613 is loaded with gross illegality and unconstitutionality, whereby rendering absolutely unsustainable in law.
The petition also requested that the Court order the MCD to providestands and parking for the safe keeping of rickshaws, affordable service stations and that seized licensed rickshaws be immediately released without penalty.
The new policy laid out in Resolution No. 613 denies the right of cycle pullers and owners in Delhi to live with dignity and without fear.
49 Are Cycle Rickshaws the Cause of Road Congestion? The bans and restrictions on the numbers of rickshaws in the city and bans on its entry in several parts of the city are justified on the ground that rickshaws cause traffic congestion and obstruct the smooth flow of traffic. Facts tell the very opposite story: The primary cause of road congestion is the increasing number of cars and other motorized vehicles in the city.
Delhi already has over 56 lakh motorized vehicles with thousands being added every month.
When a car is made to go slow due to traffic snarls it emits greater amounts of pollution and also damages the engine.
A rickshaw is intrinsically slow moving and therefore moves more easily in areas of congestion.
A car takes at least four times road space as compared to a rickshaw not only because it is bigger in size but also because road safety demands at least 10-12 feet space between one motorized vehicle and another for safe driving.
51 Rickshaws: The Most Efficient Use of Road Space
A car is an object of convenience for just the person or familythat uses the vehicle. On an average a car provides service to no more than two to four people a day. When a car is parked it blocks road space and makes it dead for other road users. By contrast arickshaw carries at least 30 to 40 persons a dayand isconstantly on the move.Therefore, it representsoptimum utilization of road space.
Yet our government policies encourage the proliferation and increase in the number of cars in the city.Not just private banks but even nationalized banks chase customers to avail of car loans despite the fact that the available road space in our cities cannot possibly accommodate the rate of increase in private cars.
52 No Special Concessions, Just Give the Poor Equal Treatment
Less than15% citizens in Delhi own private motorized vehicleswhile 85% have to rely on public transport of which cycle rickshaws are a very crucial part.
Yet, in utter disregard of the needs of citizens without cars, our civic agencies provideno road space for non-motorized vehicles.
Government spends crores of rupees on building flyovers, six lane motorways and earmarking huge amounts of space for car parks.However, there areno separate tracks for rickshaws and other forms of non-motorized vehicles.Thus rickshaw pullers and cyclists have to compete for road space with trucks buses and cars at great risk to their lives.
53 A Typical “Unauthorized” Rickshaw Stand with temporary shelter for pullers —a safe place for sleeping, eating and socializing.
Huge amounts of public space for car parks, including provision of multi layered underground parking lots built at huge costs. By contrast, there are no authorized parking spaces for cycle rickshawsdespite the fact that people from this trade have approached the High Courts and Supreme Court for allocation of parking spaces.Consequently, pullers and harassed and given the danda treatment by the traffic police no matter where they stand.
The police and municipal authorities have arbitrarily declared large parts of the city as out of bounds for cycle rickshaws without regard to convenience of commuters or the legitimate needs of the rickshaw trade. Rickshaws can be confiscated and made to pay heavy fines for venturing into “no entry zones” for their vehicles. This means more bribes.
55 Rational Policy Demands
Treat it as an integral part of transport system and recognize it as a legitimate trade
Provide year round open licensing system.
Scrap the “owner must be puller” policy.
End to confiscation and destruction of rickshaws.
Provide separate tracks for non motorized transport.
Fee based regulation of numbers rather than bureaucratic quotas.
Provide rickshaw stands as well as yards for safe keeping.
Work with the trade to upgrade rickshaw technology.
56 Rickshaw Technology is Far Better in Countries where Pullers are Treated as a Necessary Part of Urban Transport. Rickshaws in Hanoi
57 A Tourist Attraction Rickshaws in Singapore
58 Art on WheelsRickshaws in Dhaka
59 Dignity of Labour The Malaysian Trishaw
60 Economic reforms focused on the Corporate and organized sector which provide employment to no more than 3 % of India’s workforce Another 3-4 % are in government and public sector employment 93% of workforce is in the self-organised, informal sector, which is untouched by economic reforms. They remain poor because they are among the worst victims of sarkari tyranny and needless bureaucratic controls.
61 Need for Bottom-Up Agenda of Reforms
The Government spends crores of rupees on “poverty alleviation” and “Employment Guarantee Schemes” with very little benefit to the poor.
The self employed poor can rapidly move out of poverty if their livelihoods are freed from the web of illegality created by needless bureaucratic controls, just as export oriented corporate sector has become globally competitive with a mild dose of liberalization.