Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Patna are among 16 cities in the country where old vehicles will soon be phased out. The phase-out will extend to private and commercial vehicles.
The new proposal seeks to bring into effect an air quality management plan which, apart from phasing out of old vehicles, would include improved check on vehicles and use of better quality fuel.
Other cities that are to be brought under the plan include Agra, Solapur, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Faridabad and Jharia (in Jharkhand).
Although the term 'old' was not immediately explained, the accepted auto industry norm for the term is any vehicle that is 15 or more years old.
The plan involves reducing suspended particle molecules (SPM) to cut down the air pollution in these cities. An official release said the state pollution control boards and state environment departments have already submitted action plans for the pollution control in the 16 cities identified by the Centre.
The release claimed 60 to 70 per cent pollution in these cities is estimated to be caused by the vehicular emissions and hence the plan envisages various strategies to be adopted to reduce the emission to a tolerable level.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Thursday at its 48th Annual Convention said that climate change and innovation are the major challenges before the auto industry.
Thus initiatives like introduction of new and more fuel efficient vehicles, mandatory inspection and maintenance regime, removal of old vehicles, efficient traffic management, use of alternative fuels like CNG / LPG / bio-diesel etc, and introduction of electric / hybrid vehicles in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is the need of the hour.