The Delhi government has impounded 204 vehicles — all diesel ones more than 15 years old — since October 5. The Delhi government approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday seeking directions on the way ahead with these vehicles, but it declined to “reopen a closed matter”.
With no clarity on what should be done with these vehicles, which have also been de-registered, the Delhi Transport Department is now planning to come up with directions to scrap them.
“In absence of any orders or direction from the NGT, we will come up with instructions on our own,” said a senior government official. Under the current Motor Vehicles Act, there is no policy on what the government can do after a vehicle has been impounded.
These vehicles were taken off roads after the Supreme Court order stating that diesel vehicles older than 10 years and petrol vehicles older than 15 years will not be allowed to ply on capital’s roads. Owners of these vehicles were given an option to procure an NOC and sell these cars outside Delhi-NCR. According to Transport Department records, there are close to 38 lakh vehicles registered in the city which fall under this category. However, only a fraction of them still ply on Delhi roads, officials said.
The court also said that in the first phase, only diesel vehicles over 15 years old will be taken off the streets. The centre has been mulling a vehicle scrapping policy for a least three years, with the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari saying in 2015 that the government will give incentives, such as discounts of up to Rs 50,000, on scrapping an old car and buying a new one in its place. The policy, however, is hanging fire.