Thrissur: Kerala has lifted a ban on registering modified vehicles three years after the High Court issued an order in this regard.
Under the unpublicized ban, the state did not allow the registration of vehicles other than those made by the manufacturers.
According to estimates, the ban had resulted in a revenue loss of around a whopping Rs 200 crore to the government!
The ban covered 18 types of vehicles such as vans which carried cash to be filled at ATMs, generator vans, recovery vans and mobile hotels.
However, several such vehicles registered in neighbouring states such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have been plying on Kerala roads. Ironically, these vehicles received the no-objection certificate (NOC) issued for vehicles registered in other states to travel in Kerala without any hassles.
A document received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act said that only 265 modified vehicles have been registered in Kerala. But, according to unofficial estimates, around 4,000 such vehicles conduct services in the state. In other words, at least 3,500 of these specialised vehicles were registered in other states, causing a loss of registration fees for Kerala.
In January this year, Kerala’s Tourism Department recommended the registration of vans modified as campers to boost tourism. It is based on this recommendation that the Motor Vehicles Department has now allowed the registration of 18 types of altered vehicles.