Scrap vehicles | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: As the vehicle scrappage policy was launched, the decision on scrapping old vehicles has to be taken by the state government. The policy can be implemented within the time limit set by the Centre, only if vehicle fitness testing centres and scrapping centres are arranged.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had published the guidelines for the fitness testing centres and scrapping centres. The state should issue an order as per this. Such centres can be opened with private partnership or directly. The centre has allotted time till June 2024.
According to the centre’s policy, vehicles over 15 years and owned by the state government will be first withdrawn from roads. About 500 old vehicles currently owned by the government comes in this category.
Among the 1.4 crore vehicles in the state, 22.1 lakh need to be scrapped as per the new policy. They can be used if they pass the computerised fitness test. The automated fitness test is mandatory for the private vehicles which are 20 years old and commercial vehicles which are 15 years old.
Vehicles which fail the test twice must be scrapped. The Centre has directed to scrap commercial vehicles from 2023 and private vehicles from June 2024. The owners can directly hand over the vehicles to scrapping centres without performing fitness test.
The state has a history of scrapping old and polluting vehicles even before the scrappage policy. Earlier, the state had issued an order fixing the age of private buses as 15 years. Later, this was extended to 20 years. Once the centre’s policy is implemented, this order will be irrelevant.
Meanwhile, state transport minister Antony Raju said that the vehicle scrappage policy is impractical and unscientific. The decision to eliminate commercial vehicles older than 15 years is not suitable for the state. If pollution is the issue, we have to switch to green fuels. The new policy favours the huge vehicle manufacturers, the minister said.