The details submitted by Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari to the Parliament last week show that at least four crore vehicles registered across states are more than 15 years old and nearly 50% of these are older than 20 years. The actual number would be more since this number has been collated from the digitised vehicle data from the central vehicle registration database of Vahan 4. Moreover, the centralised data doesn’t include the details of three big states – Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.
The details of these vehicles become important in the light of the government’s announcement to mandatorily de-register old vehicles – 15-years-old commercial and 20 -years-old personal vehicles – if they fail to pass the fitness test from June 1, 2024. “Currently, there is no mechanism to de-register vehicles until and unless the owners approach RTOs. So, there may be huge number of unused vehicles which are still in the category of registered vehicles,” said an official.
In its bid to discourage people to hold on to their old vehicles, the government has started taking a series of steps including the move to formulate guidelines for imposition of “green tax” on older vehicles by states and UTs. The road transport ministry has circulated the proposal to states and UTs for their comments. It has also issued draft notifications to increase the charges for renewal of registration of personal vehicles and fitness renewal charges for commercial vehicles which are over 15 years.
“I’m wondering what could be the reaction of the government on 15-year-old private petrol vehicles that are very well maintained and so would pass the pollution test with flying colours. This proposal is overlooking a sizeable chunk of vehicle owners who fall in this category,” said Geetika Dogra, a vehicle owner.