The cash-strapped Bengal government needs more time to phase out vehicles older than 15 years that was recently ordered by the eastern office of the National Green Tribunal.
“We are not in a position to phase out all the older vehicles as this would result in a complete collapse of the public transportation. We shall move forward seeking more time.
We’ll rather choose gradual phasing out of such vehicles. Also, we need to consider the plight of private car owners , mostly the retired persons.
We cannot put additional burden on them,” said Snehashis Chakraborty, the state’s new Transport Minister here today. He said: “In state run public transport system 1.5 lakh vehicles purchased between 1970 and 1999 are still rolling on the roads and there are 3.5 lakh buses purchased between 2000 and 2004 that also fallunder BS – IV category and needs to be scrapped, as the NGT has ordered.
But this isn’t possible in just six months.” The NGT had ordered phasing out all the vehicles in Bengal which are 15 or more years old. According to a 2019 estimate, 65.01 lakh private vehicles and 69.76 lakh commercial vehicles plying on the road across the state are more than 15 years old and needed to be scrapped within six months, according to the NGT order.
“While phasing out of the old vehicles, a move towards use of cleaner and greener technology with the introduction of Compressed Natural Gas buses and electric buses may be expedited,” the order of the NGT read.
The Minister held a transport review meeting here for five South Bengal districts – Burdwan East and Burdwan West, Bankura, Hooghly and Birbhum. These five districts, till last July generated Rs 233.56 crore of transport revenue in the last four months, incidentally.