EghtesadOnline: An estimated half million dilapidated trucks are plying the roads spewing poison into the air, head of the Transportation Commission of Iran Chamber of Commerce says.
Addressing a meeting on Sunday, Mojtaba Baharvand said, “More than 500,000 old commercial vehicles are on the roads,” YJC reported.
Pointing to haphazard renovation schemes introduced by the government and local auto companies, he said they are flawed.
Truckers who participate in the renovation schemes, in addition to sending their clunkers to the junkyard, must pay half the price of the new vehicle up front and the rest through heavy installments, according to Financial Tribune.
According to Baharvand, several auto companies enjoy government support in their iron-clad grip over the market. With their monopolies, the companies impose outrageous prices for commercial vehicles. Currently, a Volvo FH500 costs more than 10.8 billion rials ($104,854) in the domestic market.
Furthermore, according to market insiders, the loans offered to truck owners for renovating their vehicles turned out to be unaffordable. For instance, some cases truckers must pay 100 million rials ($970) in monthly installments.
Things have become worse after the US re-sanctioned Iran in summer. The rial lost over 70% of its value against the greenback and new commercial vehicles and import of spare parts were no longer affordable for the hard-working truckers working 24/7.
Old heavy vehicles have always been singled out by critics and environmentalist for being fuel intensive and one of the primary air polluters.
In a bid to curb air pollution authorities have introduced plans that entail clampdowns on dilapidated vehicles.
Tehran Municipality launched a scheme last month it calls Air Pollution Reduction (APR), as per which clunkers have been banned in the sprawling city and violators are fined.
In a complementary action, over the past two months the Tehran Vehicle Technical Inspection Bureau has been conducting random field checks of vehicle compliance with emission standards.
CEO of the bureau Navab Hosseini says during the time, over 1,300 diesel-fueled commercial vehicles were tested. The technical inspection permits of 26% of them were revoked.
Almost 16% of the drivers had not even bothered to get their vehicles tested (a mandatory requirement for all motor vehicles across the country) and failed to present technical papers.
In addition, among the 226 heavy-duty vehicles quick-tested randomly by the Traffic Police along Tehran roadways, over 20% did not meet the standards and were highly polluting.