The retreading industry on Kolkata is currently facing a huge challenge due to the city authorities fining transport buses fitted with retreaded tyres. The Kolkata city police have reportedly booked 617 buses and minibuses between 1-7 April, issuing fines of between INR 5,000-10,000. Of these, 585 buses were fitted with retreads.
Indian Trade Association Lobbies on behalf of Retreading
The Kolkata police claim that running buses on retreaded tyres is illegal and are not issuing fitness certificates to motor vehicles fitted with them. “We have been facing this issue for the last 7-8 years, and the drive against retreaded tyres has intensified post-Covid,” said Devvrat Shah from Kolkata-based Elgi franchisee, Perfect Tyres. The company says it has carried out some communication with the city authorities but without impact as there has historically been no body to represent the retreaders and take up the issue with the concerned authorities.
Perfect Tyres is claimed to be the largest retreader in Kolkata, retreading more than 7,000 tyres annually, about 25% share of the local retreading market. “The Kolkata retread market has been reduced to 2,000 tyres per month from 3,500-4,000 tyres about 10 years ago,” he said. “Instead of promoting retreading when the government is focusing on sustainable development, the local authorities are creating trouble for the retreading industry, which is known for increasing the life of the casing.”
It has been revealed that even various West Bengal government-owned transport companies operating their own captive retreading plants are not being spared by the Kolkata police.
“West Bengal is a tough market for retreads, and poor perception of retreading among the authorities is a major issue,” said Hemant Kaul, CEO, Marangoni India.
Meanwhile, the Tyre Retreading Education Association (TREA), the Mumbai based apex body of the retreading industry, wrote to the Transport Minister of West Bengal Snehashis Chakraborty on 6th July, mentioning the drive against retreaded tyres by the law enforcement agencies.
The letter explained that retreading is an environmentally friendly process and that the country’s retreading industry has been recognised by the Government of India under its Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) for waste tyre policy as per Gazette notification dated 21st July, 2022.
On behalf of the industry Karun Sanghi, Director, TREA, in the letter to the Minister, further cited that the current sustainability goals of the central and state governments are resulting in the number of retreaded tyres gradually increasing. The letter concluded by pointing out that a retreaded tyre is almost at par with a new tyre when it comes to operational quality.
The letter was enclosed with a copy of the Washington Retread Safety Summary and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Commercial Medium Tyre Debris Study for better comprehension about retreaded tyres.
Article Author: Satnam Singh