According to a statement by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, more than nine lakh vehicles owned by the government, states, local, transportation authorities, and public sector organizations would be taken off the road starting on April 1.
Gadkari, speaking at a FICCI-sponsored event, said that the government is making significant efforts to encourage the use of ethanol, methanol, bio-CNG, bio-LNG, and electric vehicles.
More than nine lakh government vehicles that are more than 15 years old will now be scrapped, and taking their place on the road will be newer, cleaner vehicles that run on alternative fuels.
This will further reduce air pollution to a great extent,” the road transport and highway minister said.
In accordance with a recent notification from the road transport and highways ministry, from april 1, all vehicles owned by the central and state governments, including buses owned by transportation corporations and public sector undertakings, would be de-registered and dismantled
The rule shall not apply to the special purpose vehicles (armoured and other specialised vehicles) used for operational purposes for the defence of the country and the maintenance of law and order and internal security, the notification had said.
“Disposal of such vehicles shall, after the expiry of 15 years from the date of the initial registration of the vehicle, (should) 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,” it had said.
Announced in the Union Budget 2021-22, the policy provides for fitness tests after 20 years for personal vehicles and 15 years for commercial vehicles.
Under the new policy, which is effective from April 1, 2022, the Centre has said states and Union Territories will provide up to 25 percent tax rebate on road tax for vehicles that are purchased after scrapping old vehicles.
Last year, Gadkari had said he looked to develop at least one automobile scrapping facility within 150 kilometres of each city centre while asserting that the country has the potential to become a vehicle scrapping hub of the entire South Asian region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Vehicle Scrappage Policy in 2021 and said it would help phase out unfit and polluting vehicles and also promote a circular economy.
Gadkari said India’s target of achieving net zero by 2070 is very much achievable and if the country follows a strategic and systematic approach towards transportation.
“There is an immediate need to decarbonise the transport sector,” he emphasised. The minister noted that the need of the hour is to have more buses on electric mode with all the world-class comforts and facilities as it will attract more and more people towards public transport and discourage the use of personal vehicles.
According to Gadkari, the logistics costs are 8 to 10 percent in China, 12 percent in European countries, 12 percent in the US, and 14-16 percent in India. “Our ambition is to bring India’s logistics cost to a single digit,” he said.
Pointing out that the share of agriculture and allied sector in India’s GDP is only 12 per cent, he said there is a need to encourage more investment in agriculture, rural and tribal India.
“If you can increase the contribution of agriculture and allied sectors in India’s GDP from 12 per cent to 24 per cent, then it is going to create more jobs in agriculture and rural areas, and even increasing the agriculture growth … We can make not only smart cities but smart villages also,” he said.
With PTI Inputs