Delhi moves to scrap vehicles older than 15 years from next year

All vehicles that are more than 15 years old will be impounded and sent to scrap dealers for dismantling, according to newly drafted Delhi government rules that aim to make the Capital the first Indian city with an “end of vehicle life” policy. The rules, likely to be notified by the end of this year, have been framed to implement a 2014 order by the National Green Tribunal that vehicles older than 15 years should not be allowed to ply on Delhi’s roads and should not be parked in public spaces. If the draft rules are approved, the impounding of vehicles will start early next year, senior officials in the Delhi transport department said. Delhi has over one crore registered vehicles, of which about 37 lakh are older than 15 years, according to government data.

“There is no rule at present to guide the police or the government as to what is to be done with the vehicles after they are impounded. The new rules will create a mechanism to ensure proper disposal of old vehicles. This is going to be a first-of-its-kind policy in India,” said Commissioner (Transport) Varsha Joshi. Under the ‘Delhi Scrapping of Vehicles Rules, 2018’, all impounded vehicles, including two-wheelers, will be sent directly to empanelled scrap dealers for dismantling and owners will be paid a scrapping charge, which has not yet been defined.

The enforcing agencies will be the Delhi Traffic Police, the Municipal Corporations and the Transport Department. For the last four years, the traffic police and the transport department have expressed their inability to seize old vehicles despite the NGT order because of lack of space to park and the lack of a proper mechanism to dismantle these vehicles.

According to the draft rules, the transport department will begin issuing licences to scrap dealers who have scrapyards of at least 1,000 square yards in non-residential areas in Delhi-NCR, and are certified by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee. The licences will be issued to dealers against a bank guarantee of Rs 10 lakh, say the draft rules, which are likely to be uploaded for public comments and suggestions in March.

The rules allow owners to voluntarily give away old cars and two-wheelers to empanelled dealers against an assured amount. The entire process will be online, the draft rules say.
“Any junk vehicle found parked in a public place shall be impounded and a communication will be sent to the registered owner, who will have to submit an undertaking for scrapping within a period of 15 days,” said KK Dahiya, Special Commissioner (Transport). If the vehicle owner does not come forward, the impounded vehicle shall be scrapped through an authorised scrap dealer and the value will then be credited to the government account, Dahiya added.