Following instances of ambiguity over the seizing of parked old vehicles, including diesel cars older than 10 years and petrol cars older than 15 years, the Delhi Transport Department has issued a fresh circular. This new circular expands the scope of the rule, now allowing the seizure and scrapping of even those cars that are parked unused in people’s parking spaces.
In 2021, the National Green Tribunal and Supreme Court introduced rules to address the alarming pollution levels in the National Capital Region (NCR). As per these rules, the Delhi Transport Department is authorized to seize and scrap all diesel vehicles older than 10 years and petrol vehicles older than 15 years that are in use on public roads. Consequently, many owners of such old cars were compelled to sell them to other states or send them for scrap.
Delhi police already seizing old cars
However, recent incidents highlighted that the Delhi Transport Department was actively seizing old vehicles parked unused in owners’ parking lots. One high-profile case involved Tehseen Poonawala’s old Honda CR-V, which was more than 15 years old and was parked unused outside his office. Poonawala, emotionally attached to the car, did not sell it but also did not use it to comply with the Supreme Court’s orders.
It is essential to highlight that Tehseen Poonawalla’s Honda CR-V was parked beside the road outside his office near his residence, not within the confines of his residence. As a result, the officials from the Delhi Transport Department had the legal authority to tow away his old vehicle and send it for scrapping. Since April 2023, the Delhi Transport Department, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, and Delhi Traffic Police have been actively conducting drives to remove overage vehicles parked in colonies, markets, and societies.
Due to such incidents, the Delhi Transport Department temporarily halted the seizing of parked old cars that were not being used. But now, after nearly three weeks, they have resumed action based on a new circular issued with the green signal from the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).
As per the latest circular, owners of such old vehicles are no longer allowed to park them safely and keep them unused in open areas and public parking. However, no action will be taken against the cars that are parked securely inside the garages. It means that if you stay in a society and use the common parking, your car might get seized. The Delhi Transport Department has also issued a circular to register all 10-year-old diesel cars and 15-year-old petrol cars at the respective RTO offices. Consequently, owners of these old vehicles are left with no option but to part ways with their cars, either by selling them in states where no such rule exists or by scrapping them altogether.