New Delhi: India is a step closer to legalizing scrapping of old vehicles. The road transport and highways ministry has issued draft guidelines to set up vehicle scrapping centres in the country, a move aimed at protecting the environment and promoting legally backed dismantling and scrapping industry.

Towards this, the government has sought comments from relevant stakeholders by 15 November. These norms, when implemented, will enable safe and regulated disposal of vehicles.

Vehicles can be offered for scrapping if they are impounded or abandoned by enforcement agencies, beyond repair, registration certificate has not been renewed, damaged due to fire, natural calamity, without fitness certificate, among others, the draft said.

Towards phasing out of older, polluting vehicles, the road transport and highways ministry already prepared a vehicle scrapping policy. Amid a slowdown in the automobile sector, scrapping vehicles can replace older vehicles with newer ones, thereby creating demand.

Currently, India does not have enough authorized scrapping centres to dismantle old vehicles, with most of the existing ones being illegal and flouting environment norms. An inter-ministerial consultation of Voluntary Vehicle Scrappage Policy, the contours of which is yet to be made public, has been sent to Cabinet for its approval.

An authorized vehicle scrapping facility should meet the minimum technical requirement for collection and dismantling centres specified as per the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board. Such centres should have ‘competent manpower’ to carry out dismantling activities, keeping in mind responsibilities towards the environment. They also need to take no objection certificate from state pollution control board within six months since the beginning of operations, according to the draft guidelines.

Vehicles cannot be scrapped till fuel, oil and other gases are drained and collected as per in certified containers.

“The authorized scrapper shall digitally remit or pay by an account payee cheque, the agreed consideration for the vehicle and obtain a receipt for the same from the owner or his authorized representative for record," it said.

CCTV cameras have to installed in such facilities and can be audited by government authorities to check compliance with guidelines. Such centres will be valid for 10 years in the initial period and can be renewed for another 10 years on fulfilling certain terms and conditions.

A separate record of scrapped vehicles will also have to be registered in the national register for vehicles (VAHAN), which has to be maintained by the Centre.

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