Centre’s proposed policy to scrap commercial vehicles above 10 years old may not get the expected cheer in Meghalaya capital Shillong.
Well maintained Maruti 800 and Willys Jeep dating back to several decades are not only the beauty of the roads in Shillong also known as Scotland of the East but also lifelines for many in the Meghalaya capital town.
Taxi service is the lifeline of Shillong where roads are narrow and there are plenty of camel back elevations. Although vehicles of different makes are being used as taxis in Shillong, yet decades old Maruti 800 painted in black and yellow are still popular as taxis among the commuters.
Similarly, the Willys Jeep are also the lifelines for many in Shillong—old Willys are often seen donning their new avtars in the Meghalaya capital. Willys are often seen with added trailers used to carry potable water to localities in water scarce Shillong. In most of the localities in the hill town, the roads are so narrow that bigger trucks carrying tankers cannot enter.
The Willys with added trailers are also used to transport construction materials and other stuff to localities with narrow roads where trucks and other bigger commercial vehicles cannot enter due to road size.
It may be mentioned here that Union Minister of Nitin Gadkari had recently said that the government is working on an integrated policy that will ensure that commercial vehicles that are more than ten years old will be scrapped as level of air pollution in on the rise.
He said that the proposed policy might have features like tax exemptions and discounts that totals up to Rs 2.5 lakh on vehicles purchased for about Rs 10 lakh at the time of new purchase and stated that the government is planning in this like due to the rising pollution level in the country, mostly contributed by old vehicles that are based on old technology.