Kerala

Goods vehicle owners express concern over scrappage policy

Expressing serious concerns over the newly issued scrappage policy of the Union government, the national and State-level leaders of the All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners’ Association (AICGVOA) have directly approached the Union Ministry of State for Road Transport and Highways for a favourable amendment.

Instead of the straight dismantling of all goods vehicles more than 15 years old, they have proposed to introduce an automated testing facility that can easily screen out all unfit ones and thus implement the plan of the Union government without affecting the livelihood of a majority in the sector.

The vehicle owners’ association, including the Kerala Lorry Owners’ Federation (LOF), say that such a scientific testing option will clearly give a picture of the exact engine condition of the vehicle. There should also be an option for the vehicle owners to address minor mechanical issues after such automated screening and produce it again for further clearance.

Not practical

Functionaries of AICGVOA and the Lorry Owners Federation say about 50% of the goods carriers in the country will have to be dismantled if the government is planning to go ahead with the new scrappage policy. According to them, it will never be a practical option for thousands of vehicle owners.

“We have made it clear that the age of the vehicle should not be considered as the sole criteria for vehicle scrappage as there are thousands of well-maintained vehicles in service with no mechanical faults at all. The fitness condition of the vehicle should be the criteria to review the permit,” says Shaju Almana, State general secretary of the Lorry Owners Federation. He also feels that Kerala will be the worst-affected State if old goods-carriers are kept off the road based on the new policy.

According to him, the matter has already been discussed with Amit Varadan, Joint secretary of Road Transport and Highways, for a favourable action. “We are expecting an order soon that will propose automated testing facilities for vehicles and screen out only the unfit ones on the road,” he adds.

The Union government came up with the new scrappage policy as part of the attempts to improve fuel efficiency, reduce pollution level, and promote the sales in the automobile sector. Meanwhile, the goods operators in various States came up with their protest citing that it would affect around one crore ageing vehicles. The main reason for such a protest was that the majority of older vehicles were owned by a very lower-income group.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 3:56:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/goods-vehicle-owners-express-concern-over-scrappage-policy/article33949610.ece

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