Kerala to 'retire' autorickshaws plying for 15 years

Kerala to 'retire' autorickshaws plying for 15 years

Thiruvananthapuram: The state government has amended the Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules to prohibit the plying of autorickshaws over 15 years. The ban is applicable to autorickshaws being used for public transport.

Old autorickshaws in the state are run on fossil fuels like diesel or petrol.

However, the new rules allow a concession. If 15-year-old autorickshaws switch over to alternative electric, LPG, CNG or LNG mode, they will be allowed to continue their operations.

The government action comes in the wake of the National Green Tribunal's directive to control air pollution.

Vehicle scrappage policy soon

As per the Union government's impending vehicle scrappage policy, cars, trucks, buses as well as two- and three-wheelers older than 15 years will be taken off the road.

Vehicles beyond this age could be allowed if a fitness certificate from the designated authority is submitted. In such a case, the vehicle needs to be re-registered.

As per the plan, the fitness certificate will be valid for five years for passenger vehicles and for one year for commercial vehicles.

Reports say a Cabinet note has been formulated for the vehicle scrapping policy.

"The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has formulated a note for Cabinet on creation of an ecosystem for voluntary and environment friendly phasing out of unfit and old polluting vehicles," Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways VK Singh told Rajya Sabha in reply to a query.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadakri had earlier said once the policy is approved, India could emerge as a hub for automobile manufacturing as key raw material available from scrapping steel, aluminium and plastic are bound to be recycled, bringing down automobile prices by "20-30 per cent".

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