Old no more gold: Drive against 10 year old diesel vehicles starts

The time has finally come for 10 year of older diesel vehicle to bid adieu to Delhi NCR. The Delhi police and RTO has started to de-register the decade-old diesel cars. Delhi Police has started seizing such old vehicles plying on the roads.

The NGT Order

India Gate

National Green Tribunal (NGT) passed the Environment Protection Act  2 years back which suggested removal of any car which is 15 years or older from the Delhi-NCR area. This was regardless of the fuel used in the car. After facing huge outrage, especially from the vintage and classic car owners, NGT changed the orders later. The second order came on April 7, 2015. The new order favoured petrol-powered vehicles and only diesel cars, which are 10 years or older, were to be removed from the roads.

Till now, no action was taken to implement the ban. But now, Delhi’s Regional Transport Offices (RTO) have started deregistering such cars. Police has been asked to seize such vehicles if they are found plying. The drive against old vehicles began after a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar asked Delhi Government why the older vehicles are still plying on the roads and the order is not enforced strictly.

But why so?

As it says, the Environment Protection Act. It was passed to bring down the number of polluting vehicles on the Delhi-NCR road. Delhi-NCR has become one of the most polluted cities in the world with children developing major breathing problems while the adults are facing health issues. As per NGT, the ban on such vehicles will bring down the pollution level substantially.

A similar model to ban old vehicles was enforced in Beijing, China couple of years back when the air quality of the city became way too dangerous to breathe.

Where is the problem?

After hearing to the displeasure of the NGT Chairperson, Delhi Govt’s advocate, Tarunvir Singh Khehar said that the owners of such vehicles are currently receiving challans but more vehicles cannot be impounded as there is lack of space to park such vehicles. NGT has directed Delhi Government to move an application to Delhi Development Authority requesting parking space for such vehicles.

NGT has also asked the state government to talk to neighbouring states like Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to get more space to park the impounded vehicles. There is no permanent solution to what would happen to such impounded vehicles.

There is no system in place to scrap such vehicles as of now. The NGT has asked Ministry of Heavy Industries to frame an incentive scheme for scrapping such vehicles and work on a scrapping process. Ministry of Heavy Industries said that it was in talks with the Ministry of Finance to examine the viability of a scrapping policy. There will be an incentive scheme for people who opt to scrap their old cars, but no decisions have been taken yet.

Future of old vehicles

NGT has written to other states asking about their views for the scrapping policy but no state has replied to the question as of now. It seems that after Delhi, other states may face similar ruling against the ageing vehicles. The vehicles which are older than 10 years but are not more than 15 years old can get a No Objection Certificate to ply outside Delhi-NCR border where the density of vehicles is less. The certificates would be issued after thorough checkup of the car and its exhaust gases.

Alternatives?

The government had announced the FAME scheme which stands for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electrical Vehicles in India. Under the scheme, Govt encourages launch of cleaner vehicles in India. There are many cars that are receiving benefits under the FAME scheme but many manufacturers say that it is not enough to price the hybrid and electrical vehicles as competitively as the conventional fuel ones. As of now, the only option is to sell your vehicle in a different state if it is less than 15 year old or do these simple steps to spend more time with your beloved vehicle.Click here: 10 crazy things you can do with your banned vehicle