In a move to curb pollution, Road Transport and Highways Ministry has put forth an action plan before the Supreme Court. This includes an incentive scheme being offered to owners of vehicles older than 12 years, wherein these owners can leave their vehicles at designated places and receive cash incentives to purchase a new one.
The scheme could see around 28 million vehicles (2.8 crore) which have been registered prior to March 31, 2005 being replaced with new BS IV compliant vehicles. Even as Delhi and NCR have already implemented the BS IV emission norms for four wheelers, the scheme is set to be initiated nationwide by April 2017.
While the Center has taken steps to counter air pollution caused by vehicles, active participation by various state governments would also be required to ensure success of this scheme. A draft proposal with regard to scrapping of 12-year-old vehicles in a bid to improve air quality and the incentive scheme offered in its place has already been put forth as it has been ascertained that old vehicle are major contributors to air pollution.
A detailed analysis of age of vehicles and percentage of air pollution caused by them indicates that vehicles over 10 years old comprised over 15% of total vehicles on the road.
These older vehicles contribute 10 to 12 times more pollution than BS IV compliant vehicles. A further analysis estimates that most of these vehicles which are in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle category actually comprise just 2.5% of the total fleet of vehicles on the road but contribute a whopping 60% in terms of air pollution.