The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has clarified that the heavy road making machinery was not a motor vehicle, and, therefore, not covered under the Motor Vehicle Act. The ministry has requested the states and union territories to not insist upon registration and driving license for these machines.
In a letter addressed to the transport departments of all the states and union territories, the ministry informed that it had received many representations regarding road building and rehabilitation equipment, wherein concerns regarding registration of cold recycling machines and soil stabilisation machine under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), 1989, were raised.
The representations had clarified that cold milling machines are used in salvaging the crust of the existing bituminous pavement to recover the asphalt material and re-use them to conserve aggregate and bitumen and save associated costs. Besides, the extracted bitumen leads to saving of bituminous thus saving of forex.
Also, the work awarded to the concessionaire by the employer was within a given range of chainage. Therefore, such equipment was deployed in a defined region. Further, the operating speed of the equipment was 5-10 kmph and they were deployed at the worksite through trailers.
The representation regarding heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) said that dumpers, payloaders, shovels, drillmasters, bulldozers, motor graders and bock breakers were also categorised as “off the road”. These were also operated and maintained within a mine’s boundary under the sole management, supervision and control of the mine’s manager.
The ministry’s communication drew attention to section 2(28) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, for the definition of a motor vehicle, which said a motor vehicle meant any mechanically propelled vehicle adapted for use upon roads whether the power of propulsion is transmitted from an external or internal source and included a chassis to which a body was not attached or trailed. But it did not include a vehicle running upon fixed rails or a vehicle of a special type adapted for use only in a factory or in any other enclosed premises or a vehicle having less than four wheels fitted with engine capacity of not exceeding 25 cubic centimetres.
Section 3(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, on the necessity for driving license says that person shall drive a motor vehicle in any public place unless he holds an effective driving license issued to him authorising him to drive the vehicle; and no person shall so drive a transport vehicle, other than a motor cab or motorcycle, hired for his use or rented under any scheme made under sub-section (2) of section 75 unless his driving license specifically entitles him so to do.
The ministry said the issue was discussed in the 56th meeting of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules-Technical Standing Committee (CMVR-TSC), where it was opined that cold milling machine, cold recycler and soil stabilisers were not covered under the definition of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and that the type approval of the machine is also not made.
On similar lines, HEMM such as dumpers, payloaders, shovels, drillmaster, bulldozers, motor grader and rock breakers were not covered under the definition of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and may not be insisted for registration under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.