Karnataka

Govt. may take a new look at age-based scrapping of vehicles

An age-based norm for scrapping motor vehicles, something the automobile industry favours but to which truckers are opposed, is likely to get a new look from the government. The expert committee on Auto Fuel Vision and Policy 2025 is pushing for it, at least concerning older commercial vehicles.

Though not the first time, what makes the panel’s report significant is the backdrop in which it comes.

For the industry, which has been highlighting the need for a scrappage policy, it has been a period of prolonged slowdown in demand. Any support, is bound to find favour with the industry and the report by the expert committee, headed by Planning Commission member Saumitra Chaudhuri, is not likely to be an exception.

The report said: “Vehicles used as personal transport cover progressively less and less distance with age. This is not the case with commercial vehicles. It is therefore necessary to have a clear process through which older commercial vehicles, especially those which are clearly unable to meet extant emission norms be phased out of service.”

The transporters, however, can take heart on two counts. The committee felt commercial vehicles above 15 years should be phased out, whereas the industry was for scrapping of vehicles that were 12 years old. Further, the report also left the age of vehicles to the judgment of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Goods carriage operators had recently launched a campaign, from the south zone, against scrapping of vehicles over 12 years old. The All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owner’s Association estimated as many as 40 lakh vehicles — half of the fleet — would go off the road if such a norm was introduced. Apart from the financial implications, it could mean loss of employment (each vehicle provided livelihood to nine persons), the association cautioned. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had been calling for a scrappage policy to promote a cleaner environment and fuel-efficient vehicles. It was for incentivising replacement of vehicles, registered before 2000 when the first emission norms were introduced.

The expert committee, whose recommendations addressed a host of issues concerning air pollution, also called for retrofitting of catalytic after-treatment devices on the stock of older commercial vehicles to be energetically pursued.

“Once an area is switched over entirely to BS IV [petrol and diesel], the existing stock of commercial vehicles, especially heavy duty diesel units, should be directed to compulsorily get after-treatment devices,” the report said.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 8:44:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/govt-may-take-a-new-look-at-agebased-scrapping-of-vehicles/article6160515.ece

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