New vehicle scrappage policy reflects awareness of pollution concerns. It’s also in sync with effort to reduce road accidents.

Asserting the federal government’s new policy for scrapping previous and unfit vehicles final week, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari gave estimates of the nation’s previous automotive fleet. About 1 crore automobiles greater than 15 years previous ply on the nation’s roads. Given the well-documented environmental and road security dangers of such giant numbers of previous vehicles, the policy is a step in the appropriate route. It frames a phased and non-coercive method to flushing out polluting and unsafe automobiles. On the similar time, it permits the minuscule quantity of house owners of “sentimental” automobiles and collectors of distinctive vehicles to protect them, albeit at a value. The policy will kick in from April 2022 with the federal government setting an instance by retiring about 2.3 lakh previous automobiles owned by varied businesses underneath it. Obligatory exams for heavy business automobiles will start from April 2023 and for different vehicles in June 2024. The policy goals to nudge vehicle house owners into compliance by a system of incentives and disincentives. It’s also anticipated to stimulate the auto business and increase fuel-efficiency in the long term.

Diesel automobiles older than 10 years and petrol automobiles which have run greater than 15 years are banned on Delhi’s roads following the NGT ruling of 2015. Two years in the past, West Bengal initiated a scheme to section out greater than 15-year-old business automobiles — the plan has not but come into impact, reportedly as a result of of the COVID pandemic. The Nationwide Clear Air Programme of 2019 asks cities to body insurance policies to retire previous vehicles but it surely doesn’t outline the factors for end-of-life automobiles. The policy introduced final week will present a roadmap to these sporadic initiatives. Within the coming months, nonetheless, the federal government can have to search authorized opinion to clear the air on whether or not the brand new policy will take priority over the NGT ruling on Delhi.

The announcement of the scrapping policy coincided with the sobering conclusions of the World Air High quality Report: Twenty-two of the 30 most polluted cities in the world are in India — transportation is among the many main sources of air pollution. The scrapping policy is a reassuring testomony to the federal government’s awareness of such considerations. It’s also in sync with its endeavour to reduce road accidents by introducing security provisions in the Motor Automobiles Act 2019. The policy will be sure that extra vehicles on Indian roads are geared up with the quickly enhancing know-how to safe passengers throughout a crash. The federal government should now take the subsequent step for modernising the nation’s automotive fleet by introducing the long-awaited electrical vehicle policy.

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