A new scrapping policy for government vehicles across India will be implemented from April 1 as the union ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) has issued a gazette notification to do away with all vehicles older than 15 years that the authorities owned. However, the gazette also said that special purpose vehicles, including armoured, used for operational purposes for defence of the country and for the maintenance of law and order and internal security, will be exempted.
On November 25, 2022, the ministry issued a draft notification for this and sought objections and suggestions to the rules.
This Tuesday, MoRTH issued the gazette notification, saying the new rules will be called the ‘Central Motor Vehicles (First Amendment) Rules, 2023’ and will come into force from April 1, 2023.
The notification said that the renewal of certificates of registration of government vehicles will expire after the lapse of 15 years from the date of the initial registration of a vehicle. This will be for all government vehicles, including public buses.
The policy will be for motor vehicles owned by central and state/UT governments and their departments, local government institutions like municipal corporations, municipalities or panchayats, state transport undertakings established under the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950, and the Companies Act, 2013, public sector undertakings, and autonomous bodies with the central and state governments.
It also said that if the certificate of registration of the government vehicle is renewed before the lapse of fifteen years from the date of initial registration, this certificate will be treated as cancelled on completion of fifteen years from the date of the initial registration of the vehicle.
“…this rule shall not apply to the special purpose vehicles (armoured and other specialised vehicles) used for operational purposes for defense of the country and for the maintenance of law and order and internal security,” the notification reads.
It also said that the disposal of such vehicles, after the expiry of 15 years, will be ensured through the Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility set up in accordance with the Motor Vehicles (Registration and Functions of Vehicle Scrapping Facility) Rules, 2021.
Vehicle Scrapping Policy
In March 2021, minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari announced the vehicle scrapping policy in the Lok Sabha. He said, “Older vehicles pollute the environment 10 to 12 times more than fit vehicles and pose a risk to road safety.”
The ministry also introduced the Voluntary Vehicle-Fleet Modernization Programme (VVMP) or ‘Vehicle Scrapping Policy’ in the interest of a clean environment and rider and pedestrian safety. It was aimed at creating an ecosystem for phasing out unfit and polluting vehicles in an eco-friendly manner.
The policy targets the voluntary scrapping of unfit commercial and passenger vehicles, based on their fitness, irrespective of vehicle age.
In order to attract private investment in the vehicle-scrapping ecosystem, a single-window system has also been developed. This portal is part of the National Single Window System (NSWS), which is hosted by DPIIT and Invest India.
According to the ministry, as of this month, 11 states are on board with NSWS for V-VMP. These are Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Chandigarh.
Expeditious onboarding of all other states/UTs on the NSWS has also been initiated, the ministry added.
NGT, SC directed for scrapping of older vehicles
It is important to note that the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court earlier directed to scrap older vehicles, but that order was only for Delhi-NCR.
In 2014, the NGT said all diesel or petrol vehicles that are more than 15 years old will not be permitted to ply on the roads. It directed authorities to seize these vehicles, if found on the roads. It also barred the parking of such vehicles in any public area.
In 2018, the Supreme Court banned plying of diesel vehicles older than 10 years and petrol vehicles above 15 years in Delhi, adding that the vehicles violating the order will be impounded. These orders were issued to fight air pollution in the region.
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