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Fitness not age should be ground to identify polluting vehicles: Govt

Giving a ray of hope to persons, owning private vehicles which are more than 15 years old, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in its recent affidavit, said, “at present, the ministry does not propose to mandate the age limit of private vehicles because this is a short-cut approach.

“And fitness testing of the vehicles will prove whether the vehicle has reached its end of life or not. This is also the practice in European countries and North America. However, the Ministry may consider 15 years period as the end of life of transport vehicle.”

The affidavit was filed by the ministry in response to a PIL of activist MC Mehta seeking directions to authorities to curb vehicular pollution.

The ministry, in its response, has proposed that the fitness tests for private vehicles should be conducted more often.

“The fitness testing of private vehicles should also be implemented and the Ministry is of the view to propose and consider reducing the time for fitness testing from 15 years to every five years in case of new private vehicles and from 5 years to 2/3 years for renewal of private vehicles after 15 years...,” it said, adding that more authorised test stations will have to be set up.

It said that the permanent solution lies in upgrading the emission norms and not in fixing an age limit for vehicles.

“Upgrading the Bharat Stage from III to IV and IV to V and thereon is the permanent solution for controlling pollution due to exhaust gases from vehicles. This is dependent upon the fallibility of automobile fuels,” the affidavit said.
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