Soon, auto companies will help you junk your old car

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 14, 2015 00:35 IST
Junking a car is about to get easier and may even bring in some money with the government planning to rope in manufacturers for the disposal of vehicles. (HT file Photo)

Junking a car is about to get easier and may even bring in some money with the government planning to rope in manufacturers for the disposal of vehicles, a move that will help keep the environment clean.

The guidelines for disposal of end-of-life vehicles are important, as in the next 10 years the number of such automobiles is expected to more than double from 8.7 million in 2014-15 to 21.8 million in India, one of the fastest growing auto markets in the world.

“Responsibility thus extends beyond manufacturing to the post-consumer stage of the product including its take back, recycling and final disposal,” the draft guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for the automobile sector said.

Similar to the e-waste norms for electronic goods, the ELV guidelines, a first for India, will require auto firms to designate dealers for taking back vehicles – commercial as well as private – that have reached the end of their useful lives.

Junked vehicles pose a threat to environment as they pollute air, water and soil if not disposed properly and India doesn’t have a plan in place for ELVs.

While European Union and Australia scrap ELVs, in the US, manufactures have to recycle for resource recovery. Manufacturers in Japan, one of the leading auto-makers of the world, are legally bound to take back and dispose vehicles.

The guidelines, the pollution watchdog said, were a precursor to a legislative framework for their effective implementation.

The e-waste norms have not worked as manufacturers failed to put in place an effective take-back mechanism that could have enabled a channelled recycling of the waste.

Wiser from the experience, CPCB has decided to make state pollution boards nodal offices for implementing the guidelines.

Automobile manufacturers are open to CPCB plan as the industry had in June lay down standards for ELVs.

“These standards provide guidance for the collection and dismantling of ELVs by authorised centres and describe provisions that manufacturers should take in order to increase the recyclability of vehicles,” a representative of an automobile company told HT on condition of anonymity.

And, this is where state boards will come in. They will integrate with the automobile sector the recycling hubs, which function independently, across the country such as the ones in Mayapuri in Delhi, Pudupet in Chennai and Lohar Chawl in Mumbai.

Issued in consultation with the ministries of road transport and heavy industries, regulator for automobile standards, the guidelines do not specify the money manufacturers will have to pay vehicle owners. CPCB, however, believes the market will decide the price as it does for used cars.

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