In an attempt that will support the odd-even rule implemented in National Capital Region (NCR) to control the air pollution in the city, the upcoming Union Budget may propose a vehicle-scrapping policy to rid roads of old vehicles.

Vijay Chhibber, former secretary in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in an interview to the Mint, has said a proposal in this regard has already been shared with the Finance Ministry. The proposal under consideration will entail setting up a large number of vehicle-dismantling units by July 2016.

The idea is to initially phase out all vehicles under commercial use older than 15 years, including cars, buses, trucks and three-wheelers, said Chhibber, who retired on 31 December, 2015.

On 8 December, a high-level meeting by the Union government proposed to allow MSTC Ltd, a company under the Ministry of Steel, to set up 100 vehicle-crushing units across the country. The presentation in the meeting, which the Mint accessed, calculated approximately 5.92 crore vehicles need to be scrapped. The total amount required to carry out the scrapping is estimated at Rs 83,772 crore. This will be spent in the form of financial incentives to the vehicle owners.

The proposal comes at a time when pollution has become one of the major problems in many cities in India. The capital city has been ranked as the world's worst-polluted city by the World Health Organisation. The list also has Indian cities such as Patna, Gwalior, Raipur, Ahmadabad and Lucknow in the top 10.

In addition to curb pollution, the adoption of the vehicle-scrapping policy in India will help keep lower-fuel-efficiency vehicles and vehicles with lower safety standards off the roads.