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Famous for ship-breaking, Alang has potential to be a major hub for scrapping vehicles: Modi

Launching the National Vehicle Scrappage Policy, the Prime Minister said the port city already has the manpower and infrastructure necessary for scrappage.

Written by Avinash Nair | Gandhinagar |
Updated: August 13, 2021 7:50:21 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo Source: PIB)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while formally launching the national vehicle scrapping policy said on Friday that Alang having the necessary infrastructure and manpower for scrapping of ships can become a “big hub for scrapping of vehicles.”

“Today the national automobile scrapping policy is being launched. This policy will give a new identity to mobility of New India and the automobile sector. This policy will play a big role in modernising the country’s vehicle population and removing unfit vehicles from the roads in a scientific manner,” Modi said while virtually launching the vehicle scrap policy at an investors meet held at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.

He said new technologies in the mobility not only reduces cost of travel and transportation but also helps in economic growth. “It is the need of the hour that India targets clean, congestion free and convenient mobility in the 21st century,” he said, adding that the new policy which is important part of the “circular economy” will attract Rs 10,000 crore of new investments in the country.

Talking about the ship recycling industry that exists at Alang in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat where 8,300 ships have already been broken and recycled, Modi said, “In this entire region, the infrastructure and skilled manpower (needed for scrapping) exists. So after ships, Alang can also become a big hub for scrapping vehicles.” Bhavnagar also has 80 odd units that operate induction furnaces and 60-65 steel re-rolling mills which currently recycle scrap salvaged from ageing ships at Alang Shipbreaking yard.

Modi also virtually oversaw the signing of seven MOUs for setting up of registered vehicle scrappage facility (RVSF) in Gujarat and Assam. Three of these MoUs are for RVSFs that are proposed to be set up near Alang in Bhavnagar district. While Tata Motors Ltd and Cero-Mahindra MSTC Recycling Pvt Ltd have signed MOUs with the state government for setting up RVSFs in Ahmedabad, Mascot Engitech Pvt Ltd, Mono Steel India Ltd and Modest Infrastructure Pvt Ltd have proposed similar facilities at Ghogha, Sihor and Ratanpara areas of Bhavnagar district. The sixth MoU for Gujarat was signed by CMR-Kataria Recycling Pvt Ltd in Kheda. The lone MoU for Assam was signed between M/s Yash Multiventure Pvt Ltd with the Assam state government.

During his speech Modi said the automobile and metal industry in the country will also get a huge boost from this policy. “During last year, Rs 23,000 crore worth of scrap steel was imported, because the scrapping that currently happens in India is not productive. Energy recovery is almost nil. The entire value of high strength, steel alloy is not recovered. The recovery of rare metals also doesn’t happen,” Modi said. He said when scrapping is done in a scientific manner, recovery of rare earth metals —-that drive modern technology — will be possible.

He said the new scrapping policy will benefit common man and their families. “A certificate will be provided to the owner for scrapping their old vehicle. Those having this certificate will not need to pay any registration fee while buying a new vehicle. Secondly, some allowances will be given in payment of road tax. There will be savings in the cost of repair, maintenance and fuel of the old vehicle,” he said while listing out the advantages of the new policy which according to him will reduce road accidents, improve health parameters due to reduction in pollution.

Only those vehicles that fail a fitness test will be scrapped.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari who was in attendance along with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani at the event in Gandhinagar said 450-500 vehicle fitness centres will be opened under the new policy. “There are about one crore vehicles in India that are plying on the roads without valid fitness… compared to new vehicles, the old vehicles are 10-12 per cent more polluting. These old vehicles also pose a safety hazard,” Gadkari said.

The minister said that the primary criteria for scrapping a vehicle will be “fitness of the vehicle” and not the age of the vehicle. “So across India we are encouraging setting up of automated fitness centres under PPP mode in every district in the country,” he said.

Gadkari felt that while Alang could be developed as an “integrated scrapping hub” for both ships and vehicles, an industrial cluster for scrap could be created at Kandla where scrap from neighbouring countries where scrapping facilities do not exist. “We dream to make India, the scrapping hub of south-east Asia. Scrapped Vehicles from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka can be brought to Kandla,” he added.

Chief minister Vijay Rupani who also spoke during the occasion said, “Due to the significant increase in the number of vehicles being registered in the state, it has become necessary that we scrap the old vehicles and develop facilities for the same.”

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