Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in association with Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF & CC), Government of India and Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), organised a day-long conference on ‘International Material Data System (IMDS) and End of Life Vehicle (ELV) Regulations’.
The conference is a first-of-its-kind initiative focussing on sustainable management of materials, tracking of hazardous chemicals, heavy metals, Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) etc. and to minimise their negative effects on the environment and human health. The data provided on the above will facilitate the automotive sector, regulatory agencies, R&D institutions and ministries to engage in further discussions, negotiations and actions under the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, for which MoEF & CC is a nodal agency.
In his welcome address, Vishnu Mathur, Director General, SIAM, said, “There is a need to institutionalise automobile recycling in India and figure out methods to dispose of ELVs in an environmentally sound manner. The purpose of this conference is to increase our knowledge, create awareness, capacity building and gain insights about IMDS and its regulations.”
Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director, ARAI, said, “We need an integrated approach towards clean air. Fleet modernisation can improve air quality. Private car electrification and the banning of old vehicles are some of the solutions we can look at. Road & public infrastructure pose a serious concern that must be addressed appropriately. There should also be a control on the number of unused vehicles. There are 35 million vehicles plying on roads that have already exceeded the age of 15 years and manufacturers must start using materials that are reusable, the government should announce the ELV policy at the earliest and the ministry must notify AIS 129 standards immediately.”
Dr Bhure Lal (IAS), Chairman, EPCA, said, “While talking about ELV Regulations, we must consider the sustainability of ecology and environment. We need a policy in place to discard old vehicles as it could pose difficulty in future for humans.”
Justice Swatanter Kumar, Former Chairman, NGT & Former Judge, Supreme Court of India, affirmed, “There are enough laws in regard to utilisation of dismantling material and control of vehicular pollution. We need policies to regulate the unorganised sector. These conferences go a long way in providing workable solutions for issues like vehicular emissions and their negative impacts on the environment. We, as a country, are popular for doing wonders and we can also do wonders when it comes to controlling air pollution.”
Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA, said, “The automotive industry has been advocating vehicle scrappage since the past few years and we need to be more conscious of the environmental issues. We’ll do our best to shield the future generations.”
The first technical session saw many eminent speakers from the industry; Mrs Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director, ARAI, Mr Frank Nottebom, Account Business Executive, DXC Technology and Dr Bharat Kumar Sharma, Additional Director, CPCB, Government of India.
The second technical session focused on implementation of relevant provisions of national and international regulations. The distinguished speakers for this session were – Dr Sharath Pallerla, Director, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. Of India, and Dr A N Vaidya, NEERI, Govt. of India.
The third technical session on ‘Material Data Collection systems and ELV regulations globally,’ included many esteemed speakers like Dr Rachna Arora, Deputy Team Leader & Coordinator, Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Paurnima Barve, Solution Leader RnDP-PAMDOC, Volvo group, Nisha Ganesan, IMDS Coordinator, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., Dr Ishizuka Satoshi, Sr. Advisor, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, Sumit Issar, MD, Mahindra Intertrade, and S Shanmugham, Global Leader – Materials Technology, WABCO India.
A panel discussion on ‘IMDS Reporting and Challenges for Industry in India,’ which witnessed the presence of Frank Nottebom, Account Business Executive, DXC Technology, Shridhar Rajappanavar, Technical Head, PCCS, Rahul Lalwani, Sr Manager, Mahindra & Mahindra, Asmita Sathaye, DGM, Tata Motors, Ajith Kumar, Consultant R&D, TVS Motors and Sriniwas Raghavan, Material Science Expert, Brakes India.
Articulating on the sessions that took place throughout the day, Mr Prashant K Banerjee, Executive Director (Tech), SIAM, said, “With substantial increase in the number of vehicles in India, our objective is to improve the air quality by focussing on IMDS regulations and vehicle recycling. Although it is being followed in many countries, there is a need to institutionalise the same in India. Through this conference, we have set the stage to have thoughful discussions on the solutions related to vehicle recycling and how it can improve the air quality to great extent.”