Private vehicle roadworthiness depends on fitness test, not car age
MoRTH opines vehicle fitness certificate in accordance to section 56 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 should be implemented with regular checks. This will reduce pollution and improve road safety. Improved and regular vehicle testing is possible through a larger number of authorised test stations. Currently MoRTH hasn’t proposed an age limit mandate for private vehicles.
At present, the Ministry does not propose a specified age limit of private vehicles as it does not consider this a solution. Fitness testing of vehicles will prove if they have reached the end of their lifecycle. Sub-rule 1- 4 of Rule 88 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 (CMVRs) states no national permit will be granted in respect of goods carriage, other than multi axle vehicle if it is more than 12 years old. The permit is not available for multi axle goods carriage vehicles more than 15 years old and for multi axle trailer approved to carry Gross Vehicle Weight of more than 50 tons above 25 years old.
Rule 82 of CMVRs states tourist permit is deemed invalid 9 years to the date in case of motor cabs and 8 years if the motor vehicle is not a motor cab, unless it is replaced. Section 41(7) of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 dictates certificate of registration for a motor vehicle other than a transport vehicle is valid for 15 years.
Clarity in ruling comes after a discussion in January 2015 when the Centre chose to drop the scrap 15-year-old private vehicles proposal in Delhi. MoRTH doesn’t consider mandatory scrappage an appropriate measure to contain rising pollution in Delhi, and deems it short-cut approach.
Government is keen to make fitness test for vehicles stringent and regular to determine if a vehicle isn’t fit for the road. This calls for reducing fitness testing period from 15 years to 5 for a new vehicle. Once 15 years old, fitness testing needs to be conducted every 2-3 years.
As far as improving national Air Quality Index (AQI), ministry of petroleum and natural gas proposes supplying cleaner BS-IV compliant motor fuel in 2017. In discussion with oil marketing companies, it’s possible India can go directly from BS-IV to BS-VI by April 1, 2020 instead of to BS-V first, and BS-VI in 2024. As of now the focus is on implementing stricter certificate of fitness of vehiclesand periodic checks in accordance with Section 56 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.
National Green Tribunal had in November 2014 ordered banning of passenger vehicles, which are above the 15 year old threshold. Government calls to uphold roadworthiness validated through mandated vehicle tests instead.