KOLKATA: The budgetary support for the scrapping of old vehicles will be beneficial to Kolkata and Howrah, the two cities with the highest vehicular population in the state. The city’s first scrapping facility has been planned at the Nilgunj depot of West Bengal Transport Corporation.
“The scrapping of older unfit vehicles will clean up the air, clear road space, create demand for new green vehicles and create employment in the scrapping industry,” said a transport department officer. Kolkata roads are overburdened with more than 8 lakh non-transport or private vehicles that are more than 15-year-old.
Since there was no scrapping policy in the state, the older commercial vehicles, which were phased out from the city, used to ply in the non-Kolkata metropolitan areas, beyond Hooghly. But now, all the phased-out vehicles will be scrapped in the scrap yard. There are incentives for scrapping old vehicles and disincentives for keeping older vehicles.
Firstly, after scrapping the vehicle, the owner may receive a 4%-6% discount on the new vehicle’s cost (ex-showroom). Upon declaring the Certificate of Deposit, the registration fees for the new vehicle will be waived.
The state governments may also offer a concession on the road tax on the new vehicle, which can be up to 25% for non-transport vehicles and 15% for transport vehicles. The disincentives include higher charges of certificate of fitness (CF), higher re-registration fees, and 10%-15% green cess above the road tax on more than 15-year-old vehicles.
Till December 31, 2019, in Kolkata and Howrah, 3,09,417 commercial vehicles were phased out but not scrapped. “They are system-locked and thus their registrations, permits, and certificates of fitness can not be renewed,” said a transport department officer. But since they are not physically scrapped, there is no guarantee that these vehicles are not plying.
The transport department is all set to ban more than 35,000 vehicles, which are more than 15-year-old, from plying in Kolkata and Howrah in the next five years.