Ministry of Road Transport & Highways Current Affairs - 2019

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NITI Aayog’s concerns on Vehicle Scrappage Policy

The Ministry of Road and Transport Highways recently released Draft Guidelines for Vehicle Scrapping Facility. The guidelines include land requirements, scrapping procedures, criteria for scrapping of vehicles. It applies to all automobile collection centers, vehicle owners, required audits and finances.

The federal policy think tank on November 21, 2019, raised concerns on implementation of the vehicle scrappage policy.

The Concerns

The think tank’s major concern was over the life or age of vehicles that allows an owner to scrap them. The policy offers that the vehicle can be scrapped if its registration certificate has not been renewed in 15 years of time period. According to the think tank, this might fetch economic losses to the owners.

The think tank also fears that India might face the same fate as that of the US after implementing Cash for Chunkers scheme. The scheme in the US provided financial incentives to the car owners who volunteered to scrap their vehicles. However, the US economy failed to stimulate even after spending 3 billion USD.

Key Provisions of the policy

The policy offers rebates on road tax for owners with certificate of scrapping. It intends to set up vehicle scrapping centers and also provides guidelines for the centers. The policy says that the vehicles can be scrapped if they are abandoned or impounded by enforcement agencies, if their registration certificates are not renewed for over 15 years, or if the vehicles are beyond repair and are damaged due to natural calamities.

Significance

The GoI launched the policy to boost the automobile sector that is facing deceleration in its growth rates lately. It believes that the policy will drive vehicle sales as it includes incentives. It also aims at protecting the environment by backing the dismantling and scrapping industries.

Road Safety Week 2019

The Road Safety Week was initiated by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways with an aim to raise public awareness about traffic rules and ultimately reduce casualties due to road accidents. Charitable Organizations, Non-Government Organizations and Private firms across the country join hand with the government to provide logistic support to the Road Safety Week Campaign.

The Road safety week is observed annually to make people more aware of the traffic rules and to persuade them to follow rules while on road.

Road Safety Week 2019

India is celebrating the 30th Road Safety Week from 04th February (Monday) to the 10th February (Sunday). The following activities are organised as part of the Road Safety Week 2019:

  • Road safety leaflets including roses, chocolates and flowers are distributed to the travellers on the road.
  • Commuters are sensitized about the methods and necessities of the road safety means they must understand the use of helmets or seat belts while driving on the road or anywhere.
  • Various painting and drawing competitions, road safety announcements, exhibitions, road rules test, girls scooter rally to encourage the use of helmets, debates on road safety at the All India Radio, workshops, seminar and etc activities are organized.
  • Free medical checkup camps and driving training workshops are organized for the drivers to encourage them towards road safety.
  • Road safety quiz competitions are also organized to promote people about road safety.
  • Traffic safety games including card games, puzzles, board games and etc are organized to educate school children about road safety.

The road accidents are mainly attributed to behavioural tendencies such as habitual flouting of traffic rules like- not wearing a helmet, not wearing a seat belt, jumping traffic lights, over speeding, drunken driving etc. Road Safety Week is aimed at making people aware of the perils of not following traffic rules and the emotional and financial trauma that it could bring to their families.