End of road for old vehicles in Karnataka
With the Vehicle Scrappage Policy kicking in, vehicles over 15 years old will have to join the scrap heap at the crushing facility being set up at Devanahalli
BENGALURU: Karnataka’s first Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility (RVSF) will be set up at Devanahalli. While the country has over 60 RVSFs, this will be the first in the state. In the coming days, all government vehicles that are over 15 years old and those that do not pass the fitness test will be scrapped at the RVSF.
The state transport department has given approval to Mahindra MSTC Recycling Pvt Ltd to set up the scrapping facility, where the public can scrap old unfit vehicles on a voluntary basis. “The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in 2021 launched the Voluntary Vehicle-Fleet Modernization Programme aimed at creating an ecosystem for phasing out old unsafe, polluting vehicles, and replacing them with newer, safe and fuel-efficient vehicles,” said Transport Commissioner Yogeesh AM.
“The vehicle scrappage policy is win-win for all stakeholders -- it creates an ecosystem for phasing out unfit and polluting vehicles from state roads, and to meet this objective, state-of-the-art scrapping and recycling units are needed,” he said.
The rule mandates that vehicles can be scrapped only at the RVSF and will not go to local scrap dealers in the unorganized sector, who used to do the job unscientifically, he added. Department officials estimate that nearly 15 lakh vehicles are fit for scrapping in Karnataka.
Experts and citizens point out that the scrapping policy will lead to a rise in corruption, as RTOs are empowered to issue fitness certificates. Under-the-table dealings will rise and middlemen will increase, they alleged, and demanded that the government should clearly define the process of issuing certificates to ensure transparency.
Emissions an eco-threat
“The world is in severe danger of a climate crisis. India has pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2070 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in 2021. This can be achieved only by taking some strict measures such as adopting clean and renewable energy, prioritising public transport over private vehicles, and fuel-efficient vehicles with the latest technologies. Hence, scrapping of 15-year-old and unfit vehicles is a good move,” said Akshay Heblikar, director, of Eco-Watch.
Sharing details on the different types of gases emitted by vehicles that are harmful to humans and the environment, Heblikar said, “Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the primary constituents of the vehicle’s tailpipe emissions. Motor vehicles are estimated to contribute nearly 24 per cent of the world’s direct CO2 emissions. While these may not pose any immediate health hazard, their increasing build-up catalyses global warming, furthering climate change. Carbon monoxide (CO) affects the body’s ability to absorb oxygen. Studies have found that CO2 emissions fell by 86 per cent during the COVID-19 lockdown due to restrictions on vehicular movement. The transport sector contributes to a third of India’s Particulate Matter (PM) pollution.”
In addition to reducing emissions, scrap material from old vehicles becomes a cheap raw material alternative for the steel industry. Using scrap metal from old vehicles helps create a circular economy and boosts the steel industry, he explained.
Scrapping old and unfit vehicles will certainly help in reducing vehicular emissions that are a threat to the environment. It will also help save a lot of fuel as new vehicles have better technologies and are more fuel-efficient. The cost and resources of maintaining old vehicles is much higher than new ones, he said. “Not all old vehicles are ‘unfit’. Many vehicles which are well maintained with emissions under control need not be scrapped,” Heblikar added.
Fewer motor vehicles the goal
While the intent of taking unfit and polluting vehicles off the roads is laudable, the goal must be to move towards fewer motor vehicles and a truly green future. Like in France, vehicle owners can be given incentives to get electric bicycles instead of buying new cars, said urban mobility expert Shreya Gadepalli.
“The electric bicycle industry, which has thus far languished in comparison to electric two-wheeler players due to lack of good incentives, will get a strong fillip if such a scheme is instituted. Electric bicycles are a lot greener than electric scooters and cars, and come with added health benefits,” she said.
A reliable, comfortable and affordable bus service that can take anyone anywhere they want, whenever they want, is the need of the hour. This will encourage people to scrap their old vehicles and live car-free lives, she added.
Assess the impact of scrapping vehicles
Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Change (ISEC) Prof D Rajasekhar said the primary motive of scrapping vehicles is to encourage buying of new cars and making space for new vehicles to enter the market. “There is no doubt this will stimulate automobile market sales. Along with benefiting the automobile sector, it is expected to deliver economic benefits to the citizens, including job creation. The government can expect an increase in tax revenue and economic growth,” he said.
The scrapping policy will adversely affect the used car market, as the cost of a car will fall drastically close to its age of scrapping, and people will prefer newer ones. For instance, a 10-year-old car that is sold in the second-hand market for Rs 2 lakh might come down to Rs 1 lakh after vehicle scrapping picks up pace.
The impact of scrapping old and unfit vehicles, reduction in pollution and other factors need assessment. Vehicle scrapping is likely to benefit densely populated cities like Bengaluru and districts like Kalaburagi or Kodagu, where people will continue to use their old vehicles. Further, scrapping of vehicles is likely to be high in bigger cities where disposable income is high and people would opt for new vehicles, Rajasekhar said.
He said vehicle owners would prefer to sell to people in villages, instead of scrapping, if the sale fetches them more money than the incentive offered (Certificate of Deposit). For instance, if an old vehicle fetches Rs 1 lakh in the second-hand market, and the incentive for the same vehicle is around Rs 10,000, the choice would be to sell it rather than scrap it.
Criteria for scrapping vehicles
- Vehicles which have not renewed Certificate of Registration (RC) and which fail the fitness test
- Are 15 years old and above, owned by the govt/PSUs/govt agencies/autonomous councils etc
- Damaged due to fire, riot, natural disaster, accident or any calamity, following which the registered owner self-certifies it as scrap
- Manufacturing rejects, test vehicles, prototypes, vehicles damaged during transportation from vehicle original equipment manufacturer to dealers, unsold or unregistered vehicles as may be certified by the vehicle original equipment manufacturer
- Auctioned, impounded or abandoned vehicles by any enforcement agency
- Any other vehicle voluntarily offered to a Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility for scrapping by the owner
All commercial vehicles should mandatorily take up the fitness test at the Automated Testing Station at RTOs every year when their registration has to be renewed. If the vehicle fails the test, it will be sent for scrapping. For fear that their vehicles will be crushed of they do not pass the fitness test, commercial vehicle owners are likely to invest in higher maintenance, which is expected to keep emissions under control.
All private vehicles must go for re-registeration to their RTOs after completing 15 years, and undergo a fitness test. If they clear the test, registration will be renewed for another five years and the same process will have to be repeated every five years.
Finding your RVSF
According to Karnataka’s Registered Vehicle Scrapping Policy, 2022, initially there should be at least one RVSF centre at the divisional level. Permission has been granted to Mahindra to set up one centre at Devanahalli. Permission to set up two more centres, in Tumakuru and Koppal, will be granted soon, according to transport officials. People can search for their nearby RVSF on the Vaahan portal.
Process before scrapping
- Citizens can take vehicles to RVSF, after ensuring there are no police cases, traffic fines or other litigation against them
- RVSF will apply to RTO for de-registration of the vehicle
- Once approved by RTO, the vehicle will be scrapped and the owner will get a Certificate of Deposit (CoD), followed by a Certificate of Vehicle Scrapping to certify the vehicle is scrapped
At the RVSF
- The vehicle is scrapped in an eco-friendly process, including hazardous wastes
- Each component, like tyres, glass, plastic, grease, oil, metal etc. will be separated and recycled/disposed of
Using CoD for tax concession
- CoD is the evidence of transfer of ownership of the vehicle
- It is a necessary and sufficient document for the owner to avail of incentives and benefits for the purchase of a new vehicle, as may be declared from time to time by the government
- Citizens can get a new vehicle registered against submission of CoD. According to the Registered Vehicle Scrapping Policy of Karnataka 2022, the concession in motor vehicle tax shall be equivalent to 25 per cent of the tax paid on scrapping vehicles in case of non-transport vehicles, and 15 per cent in case of transport vehicles in the state
- This concession shall be available for up to 8 years in the case of transport vehicles, and up to 15 years in the case of non-transport vehicles; unused CoD can be traded
Scrapping of govt vehicles
There are nearly 15,000 government vehicles that are over 15 years old and should be scrapped. As these vehicles are attached to crucial departments like fire services, police, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, scrapping them in one go will affect regular services. Officials have appealed to MoRTH to allow the scrapping of government vehicles in a phased manner, said Yogeesh.