Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a promising statement over the scrapping old rickety vehicles. But the fact remains that there is no control on the number of vehicles being scrapped that get haphazardly parked below flyovers. In fact the unions claim that autos and taxis that complete 15 years, run as share autos and share taxis.
At present, according to the RTOs, vehicle owners don’t declare about their vehicles if it crosses 15 years for commercial vehicles and 20 years for private vehicles. These are simply parked in lanes and left to rot. “Unless we get information about the condition of these vehicles, we can’t update in our system,” said an RTO officer.
Currently, motorists are paying Green Tax on vehicles but there is no clarity on the method for its scrapping. To begin with, in June 2019, around 350 abandoned vehicles that had been lying and rotting within the premises of 14 traffic police divisions across the city were auctioned by the Mumbai Traffic Police for more than Rs 12 lakh.
The auction was conducted online on the website of the Metal Scrap Trade Corporation (MSTC), a government body that specialises in e-auctions. The auctioned vehicles included several cars, motorcycles and autorickshaws that had been lying abandoned.
“Abandoned and scrap vehicles which are towed and kept at traffic chowkies occupy a lot of space and had been rotting for past several years. The sale of these vehicles free up space at traffic divisions to park new vehicles which are abandoned,” a traffic police officer said.
This was the second auction of abandoned and scrap vehicles by the Mumbai Traffic police. In May 2019, 322 abandoned vehicles were auctioned, and had fetched in Rs 15.01 lakh.
The auto and taxi unions on the other hand claim that these scrapped auto rickshaws and taxis are used to operate on share basis. “These autos are found namely on selected routes that operate near railway stations. These don’t have fitness certificates,” said auto union leader Shashank Rao.