Old is no longer gold

Roadblocks ahead for scrapping unfit and outdated vehicles as lakhs of them are plying on the roads in the State in absence of a mechanism to identify and scrap them

Updated - October 21, 2022 01:27 pm IST

Published - October 21, 2022 08:52 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

Parts of old and damaged trucks left on the roadside in Autonagar without being scrapped, in Vijayawada.

Parts of old and damaged trucks left on the roadside in Autonagar without being scrapped, in Vijayawada. | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

One of the major contributors of air pollution is the rising number of vehicles by the day. Even as it is largely presumed that the increasing number of new vehicles on the roads leads to higher air pollution levels, old cars cause abnormally high pollution, a fact that is largely overlooked.

A report by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways suggests that one old car emits gases equivalent to the amount emitted by 11 new cars and an old truck emits gases equivalent to the amount emitted by 14 new trucks.

In Andhra Pradesh, lakhs of outdated transport and non-transport vehicles are plying on the roads in the absence of any mechanism to identify and scrap them. The situation is more or less is the same across the country, even as the implementation of the Voluntary Vehicle Fleet Modernisation Programme (VVMP) from next year is expected to offer credible solutions in this regard.

According to Transport Department officials, Andhra Pradesh, as on September 30, 2022, has 1,60,01,918 registered vehicles including 1,40,99,828 non-transport vehicles such as cars, motorcycles and 19,02,090 transport ones such as trucks, trailers and other commercial vehicles. Of the total, 3,87,793 transport vehicles are at least 15 years old and 15,97,982 non-transport vehicles are at least 20 years old.

Many of these outdated vehicles are owned by the government departments and still in use, eve as many departments have started replacing old vehicles with the electric ones.

According to the Voluntary Vehicle Fleet Modernisation Programme, the maximum life of a transport vehicle is 15 years and that of a non-transport vehicle is 20 years. After the prescribed time period, the vehicles will be declared as ‘end of life vehicles’ (ELV).

It has also made it mandatory that a transport vehicle should renew fitness certificate once in every two years up to the eighth year of registration and once in a year up thereafter to 15 years.

For non-transport vehicles, no fitness test is required up to 15 years and the registration of the vehicle will be renewed for a maximum of five years upon passing the fitness test after the relaxation period. The government will set up Automated Testing Stations (ATS) for the vehicles undergoing fitness test.

“The system of identifying and scrapping old vehicles is yet to be established at our level. There is a long way for establishment of scrapping facilities”A transport official

The new rules for the outdated vehicles will come into force from 2023. However, the new rules have posed a herculean task for the government which cannot use the vehicles older than 15 years as they cannot be renewed. The new rule for the government vehicles came into effect from October 1, 2022.

Incentives for owners

The VVMP also deals with disposal of outdated vehicles through Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facilities (RVSF). The owners of the vehicles scrapped at these facilities will be provided with the certificate of vehicle deposit and incentives such as 4% to 6% discount on ex-showroom price of a new vehicle, waiver of registration fee for purchase of new vehicle, up to 25% waiver on life tax and up to 5% discount by the vehicle dealership.

Vehicles in numbers
Total vehicles registered in State: 1,60,01,918
Transport vehicles: 19,02,090
Non-transport vehicles: 1,40,99,828
Transport vehicles older than 15 years: 3,87,793
Non-transport vehicles older than 20 years: 15,97,982

“The system of identifying and scrapping old vehicles is yet to be established at our level. There is a long way for establishment of scrapping facilities,” says an official of the Transport Department.

Adding to the huge task is the unregistered vehicles plying on the roads across the State. Many owners of commercial rickshaws have affixed scooter engines to their vehicles, in violation of law. The engines are sourced from mechanics who preserve the engines of outdated scooters.

“It is a fact that these vehicles cause a lot of pollution. As of now, there is no clarity about how to technically proceed against these vehicles,” says a transport official in Krishna district.

What is Voluntary Vehicle-Fleet Modernisation Programme?
VVMP is a programme to scrap old vehicles and create an ecosystem for phasing out unfit and polluting vehicles to achieve a lower carbon footprint
Norms for transport (commercial) vehicles
Registration of vehicle is linked to validity of fitness certificate
Mandatory fitness test in every two years for first eight years and annually thereafter
Norms for non-transport (private) vehicles
First registration is valid for 15 years
Valid fitness certificate is necessary for renewal of registration after 15 years
Renewal is valid for five years
Vehicles which fail fitness test are eligible for one re-test after necessary repairs, rectification and re-inspection by authorities
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