Road to Wrecking: India implementing auto scrapping initiative

Toronto, Ontario — In India, there are approximately nine million vehicles more than 15 years old that are still driving on roads today. These vehicles often leech up to 10 times more emissions than current norms and, if left unregulated, this number of vehicles could reach more than 20 million by 2025, according to a Central Pollution Control Board study.

As a result, the Indian government is implementing an automotive scrapping and recycling initiative designed to remove these environmentally unfriendly vehicles from Indian roads. According to various sources, the government will soon announce a voluntary vehicle scrappage policy and is putting a stringent framework in place for setting up centres that will carry out scrapping. 

The government’s voluntary scrappage policy and new norms around the industry aim to make way for a more formalized vehicle scrapping sector in India. The Indian transport ministry has consulted with the ministry of environment, forest and climate change, as well as the ministry of steel to develop strict parameters that must be followed by the nation’s scrapping centres. 

Guidelines include granular details on land requirements, specific criteria for scrapping vehicles, scrapping procedures, and required audits, certificates and finances. Officials say these rules are designed to ensure that vehicle scrapping facilities comply with environmental norms, given that most of the existing companies in the informal sector are known as heavy polluters.

Currently, India’s auto scrapping resources are fragmented and informalized. If successful, new emission standards could lead to a more organized structure in the industry, as well as more than 20 million vehicles potentially being labelled obsolete by 2025.

However, because the government has made the process voluntary, the scrappage policy is facing scrutiny. The guidelines fall short of imposing a limit on the usage of vehicles after they have been determined obsolete, nor does it list any incentives for vehicle owners to voluntarily scrap their cars.

Regardless, experts have heralded the draft guidelines as a step in the right direction.

The Indian transport ministry has given the general public and stakeholders until Nov. 15 to issue any comments, concerns or suggestions on the guidelines, which will then be consulted by the ministry.

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