Polluting vehicles: Pollution has been a serious problem that has been recognized globally. To curb this issue, India is bringing in new ideas and rules specifically against the main contributors to air pollution. Some of these initiatives include imposing Green Tax and keeping a tab on the polluting vehicles.
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has approved a proposal with the Union Ministry to levy Green Tax on old vehicles which are polluting the environment at a high rate. A few things that have been under consideration concerning this are –
• Transport vehicles older than 8 years could be charged with Green tax the next time they go for a fitness certificate at the possible rate of 10-25% of road tax.
• Personal vehicles would be charged Green tax at the time of renewal of Registration Certificate after 15 years.
• Public Transport Vehicles like City Buses to be charged with lower Green Tax.
• Higher Green Tax for vehicles with new registrations. Differential tax will be charged for the type of fuel and vehicle.
• Exemptions for hybrids, electric vehicles, and alternate fuels like CNG, Ethanol, and LNG.
• Vehicles used for farming like tractors, harvesters, soil tillers etc. to be exempted.
The plan is to use the collected revenue from Green Tax to tackle pollution and to instruct the states to set up state-of-art facilities for monitoring emissions.
These efforts incorporated by the Ministry are meant to align the intention of Green Tax to people as a gesture to reduce the pollution level in various states.
It has been estimated that commercial vehicles which constitute about 5% of the total number of vehicles, contribute to about 65-70% of total vehicular pollution. Apart from this, about 1% of older fleets were typically manufactured before the year 2000.
Transport Minister – Nitin Gadkari also approved a policy of deregistration and scrapping of vehicles owned by government departments and PSUs, especially the ones above 15 years. As per the reports, the policy will come into effect by April 1, 2022.
States to file reports on polluting vehicles.
Commission for Air Quality Management in Delhi NCR as instructed by the Centre would need to be submitted every two months.
The Union Government is taking active efforts to curb air pollution starting with Delhi and neighboring states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Haryana who will have to submit reports on the actions taken against vehicles (like diesel vehicles) that are over 10 years old and petrol which are over 15 years.
The idea of setting up a commission was first started by the Ministry of Environment, forests, and climate change in an affidavit to the Supreme Court, while the discussion on efforts of curbing air pollution was held in Delhi.
The Commission was appointed in November 2020 and so far, they have identified 5 focus areas to tackle Delhi-NCR’s pollution levels. These are – industrial pollution, agricultural stubble burning, solid waste management, biomass burning, construction, demolition activities, and vehicular pollution.
As per the recent developments, many places including Delhi and its neighboring states have experienced a lack of enforcement against old polluting vehicles.
The neighboring states also did not make sufficient efforts on traffic management plans to tackle the elevating levels of pollution.
Earlier, the Supreme Court of India had expressed that it was concerned because not enough efforts had been put forward to reduce stubble burning in many states.
This substantial post came to light through a public interest litigation and was recognized that it can cause serious health hazards.
Written By:- Shruti Rathore
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