A small drive in the city and it is not difficult to find vehicles emitting thick black smoke.
More than the age of the vehicles, it is their overuse or poor fitness that lead to early wear and tear and reduction of engine life. The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) has formulated the Vehicle Scrappage Policy to encourage owners to discard their old vehicles and go for new ones that are complaint with existing emission norms. On submission of a valid scrappage certificate, the owner of the old vehicle can claim a discount up to 25% on tax when buying a new vehicle.
“There is, however, no consensus among the States on implementation of the scrappage policy. This is because the State governments are not ready to lose 25% of their revenue, which can be as high as ₹1,000 crore per annum. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are not implementing the policy while some States such as Odisha are implementing it,” say sources in the Transport Department.
The entry of electric vehicles (EVs), and the incentives being given for their purchase are encouraging people to discard their petrol-run two-wheelers and go for EVs. The pollution-free EVs have caught the fancy of both the young and old alike. The purchase of electric cars, however, seems to be slow in view of their comparatively high cost.
Some activists say that even as EVs will not cause environmental pollution, the thermal power plants cause much higher pollution in the process of generating electricity.
“The life of any motor vehicle is 15 years. The owner can seek renewal of registration for five more years. The Transport Department will approve renewal of registration, based on the condition of the vehicle. Renewal of registration for the second time is normally ruled out but, if the vehicle condition is exceptionally good and the owner has used it sparingly, renewal of registration for the second time will be considered,” says Deputy Transport Commissioner G.C. Raja Ratnam.
“We do not have the data readily on the number of outdated vehicles plying on the roads. They are, however, estimated to be less than 10% of the total number of vehicles at any given point of time,” he adds.