Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Odisha Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility Policy-2022 to phase out old vehicles from the roads. However, the policy is causing a lot of concern among vehicle owners in the State.

This policy is aimed at reducing vehicular pollution recommending mandatory scrapping of over 15-year-old vehicles at the scrapping centre. The owners will also get incentives to buy new vehicles. The government will provide a scrap value of six per cent of the ex-showroom price against the new vehicle purchased by the owner.

However, many vehicle owners complained that it is not a realistic criterion for vehicle scrappage. They have expressed their resentment over the amount of incentive.

“It will put a huge burden on vehicle owners. The government should provide a scrap value of at least 15-20 per cent of the ex-showroom price against the new vehicle purchased,” said Kishore Nayak, a truck owner.

“Besides, the newly purchased vehicle should be made tax-free for 10 years at least. And, then only a vehicle owner will be able to survive,” added Nayak.

"This will only put extra pressure on us. We do support the decision of the government taken in view of pollution; but at the same time, the government needs to look into it from our perspective. The incentive amount must be increased to over 15 per cent for our survival," said another vehicle owner.

The road safety experts have also put a question mark on the effective implementation of the policy in the State.

“Before implementing the policy, the government should have information about the total number of more than 15-year-old vehicles in the State. The number of manufacturers, who will supply the new vehicles, should also be kept in mind," said road safety expert, Subrat Nanda.

“Finance companies should also be fully ready to extend loans to consumers. Ample time should be given to the consumers to be fully prepared for the implementation of the policy,” Nanda added.