Some of the old cars returned to the Ministry of Rail Transportation to be scrapped will be sent to technological institutes for use as teaching support materials in practical sessions, U Chan Maung, deputy minister for rail transport, told a lower house session.
“Some vehicles accepted as part of the Automobile Exchange Program are still in good shape and would be better used as teaching materials than being scrapped,” U Aung Myint, a member of the lower house argued in his proposal to gift old vehicles to technological institutes, to which the deputy minister has consented.
The old vehicles will be used as teaching support materials in studies of internal combustion engines, petrol and diesel engines and automotive technology at technological universities and institutes.
The ministry has also scrutinised and kept the most well preserved ones among very old vehicle models, production of which has long been halted, as antiques.
It has decided to allocate a total of 234 vehicles comprising 78 saloon cars, 78 diesel pickup trucks, and 78 petroleum pickups to 28 Technological Universities, three Government Technological Colleges (GTC), 11 Government Technological Institutes (GTI) and 36 Technological Vocational Schools.
Fifteen vehicles have been delivered as of September 18, the deputy minister said.
“Nearly all cars at the mechanical department are dilapidated so this step is good for the students. And we appreciate the lower house representative who requested this,” an assistant lecturer from a technological university in Yangon told Myanmar Business Today.
The government has introduced the Vehicle Exchange Program in which old vehicles are returned in lieu of a vehicle import permit, locally knows as a “pink slip,” in September 2011.
The first phase allowed vehicles over 40 years old to be exchanged while the second phase in November 2011 and the third phase in January 2012 saw inclusion of vehicles between 30 to 40 years old and vehicles over 20 years old into the program respectively.
As of June 6, 130,518 vehicles have been returned, according to the Ministry of Rail Transport.
Most returned vehicles are scrapped in No.1 steel plant in Myin Chan in Mandalay region and in Thilawa ship scrapping plant in Thanlyin.