Clean Tech

Finally, gearing up for an honourable exit

Preeti Mehra | Updated on September 11, 2018 Published on September 11, 2018

It may not be easy to find adequate, certified scrappers initially M Karunakaran   -  M Karunakaran

Delhi has become the first to formulate end-of-life guidelines for vehicles

At last there is some movement on the issue of ageing vehicles, a policy that has been pending since 2015. Even though the guidelines issued late last month by the Delhi Government Transport Department are only for vehicles plying in the national capital territory, they are significant as it is a first for India.

If the move is actually followed up with appropriate infrastructure, it could take care of those dozens and dozens of cars stranded beside police stations, in empty parking lots and yards across Delhi.

The Guidelines for Scrapping of Motor Vehicles in Delhi, 2018, are meant to provide owners of cars and other vehicles with end-of-life facilities that will help them formally scrap their over 15-year-old vehicles. It will also build a network of authorised businesses that will have to follow proper scrapping procedures to put vehicles to sleep.

Besides this, enforcement agencies such as the municipal corporations, the police and the transport department will have the power to confiscate such vehicles if they are being driven or kept parked in public places.

The notice states in no uncertain terms, “Such scrapping guidelines and procedures will help in ensuring that the vehicles, so scrapped, do not cause damage to environment and there should be a proper disposal of hazardous components of the scrapped vehicles. These guidelines are also required for effective implementation of various directions of Hon’ble National Green Tribunal and for improvement of air quality in Delhi.”

The guidelines lay down rules and regulations that would make companies or dealers qualify for being “authorised scrappers”, detailing how the scrapyard needs to be managed, storage of vehicles, dismantling procedures, including the handling of oils, cooling fluids, gearboxes and extraction of metals.

Though these are much needed guidelines, it may not be easy to find adequate certified scrappers in the beginning for the scientific removal of auto components. This is because the nascent end-of-life vehicle business in Delhi (and the country) is run on an informal, manual basis where hammer, tongs and bare hands do the work.

“Apart from scientific recycling, we have to provide minimum wages to our helpers and be subjected to inspections. All this needs massive investment. The government should provide informal recyclers incentives and tax breaks for some years,” suggests a garage owner in South Delhi whose extended family is involved in auto scrapping in the Mayapuri area.

The guidelines ask for an auto scrapper to have a yard of not less than 9,000 sq ft in a non-residential, commercial or industrial area, along with GST registration, an Aadhaar or PAN card and health, safety and environmental compliance certificates. The scrapper would also be required to send video clips of the scrapped vehicle to the Transport Department along with maintaining records and giving a yearly report. This may be a tall order for the existing scrappers who work cheek by jowl in small, informal, recycling units.

Thriving after-life

In 2013, GIZ and Chintan conducted research on the ELV sector in Delhi. Christened, ‘Story of a Dying Car in India’ it pointed towards a thriving after-life which is serviced by a whole set of informal entrepreneurs who “recycle ELVs to a surprising extent of material efficiency, and many parts are reused and sold in a dedicated market extending well beyond the city boundaries.” While setting up formal services, it would be a good idea to keep this study in mind and create realistic but efficient goals for dealing with ELVs.

GIZ/Siam figures in 2015 estimated there were 87.31 lakh vehicles that needed to be treated as ELVs. By 2025, the figure is expected to increase by 250 per cent.

Published on September 11, 2018
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor