40 lakh two-wheelers, 11 lakh cars in Karnataka are over 15 years old | Bengaluru News – Times of India
The numbers assume significance in the backdrop of the Centre working on phasing out old and polluting vehicles under its vehicle-scrapping policy.
According to the records (till March 2020), the 63 lakh vehicles include 40.2 lakh two-wheelers, 11 lakh cars, 2.2 lakh trucks/lorries and 2.6 lakh autorickshaws. In Bengaluru alone, 12.5 lakh two-wheelers are over 15 years old, followed by cars (5.3 lakh) and autos (1.2 lakh). As per statistics, Karnataka has a total of 2.4 crore registered vehicles, including 85.6 lakh in the city(till May 2020).
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said personal vehicles older than 20 years and commercial ones older than 15 years will have to undergo fitness tests at testing centres under the voluntary vehicle-scrapping policy. In 2019, the government had proposed amendments to motor vehicle laws to allow scrapping of vehicles older than 15 years to encourage their electric alternatives.
Transport department officials said encouraging environment friendly vehicles will reduce pollution and oil import bills. The department has been collecting green tax from non-transport vehicles which are more than 15 years old and transport vehicles which are more than seven years old since April 2002. “We have identified 15-year-old transport vehicles which are emitting excess smoke. A red band is painted on them for easy identification for inspections. During inspections, these vehicles are strictly checked for emission standards,” said a transport official.
‘Used car biz may be hit’
The Centre is also considering imposing a green tax on transport vehicles older than eight years. It will be collected at the time of renewal of fitness certificate at a rate of 10 to 25% of road tax, as per a proposal sent to states for consultations.
Automobile experts say the vehicle-scrapping policy is likely to affect the used vehicle market, which focuses on the middle and lower middle class. “It will be difficult to buy a used car which is around 10 years old because of this policy. Not everyone can afford a new car at a premium rate,” said Revathy S, a resident of Shantinagar.
Karnataka State Travel Operators Association president K Radhakrishna Holla said: “The government should refund tax collected from owners for scrapping old vehicle and buying a new one. It should not collect any more taxes, including green tax.”