The government has decided to lift the ban on all passenger vehicles which are more than 15 years old. However it will still try to restrict their usage to ensure a cleaner environment.

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On the 26th of November last year, after the National Green Tribune, the Indian government banned all passenger vehicles that were more than 15 years old. Until now, all passenger vehicles were to undergo technical checks after 15 years and once every 5 years after crossing the 15 year threshold. This was done as a measure to counter the high levels of air pollution in India’s metros. These alarming levels seem to be growing day by day. Passenger cars in this category can now breathe a sigh of relief as the government has decided to overturn this ban.

The road transport and highways ministry believes this ban is a short-cut approach to the solution. They want to vigorously implement Section 56 of the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 which deals with certificate of fitness of vehicles. They want to increase the frequency of technical checks to once in 5 years for new cars and once every 3 years after the vehicle crosses 15 years of age. They do not want to put an upper limit to the age of the vehicle. But for this method to work, the government will have to open more authorized testing centres. They wish to copy the methods used by European countries and North America where periodic fitness checks are mandatory.

Even as this comes as a relief to owners of old vehicles, the same does not hold good for owners of old commercial vehicles. The government has decided to put a cut-off age for all commercials vehicles which stands at 15 years. This decision was taken as the maintenance and use of commercial vehicles differs from passenger vehicles which are generally looked after better. This is a good move from the government since we often see trucks and other commercial vehicles including a few public transport buses emit black smoke.

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