Thursday, April 11, 2019

Vehicle registrations down 14% in Pune, 5% in PCMC


PUNE: Better sense may have finally prevailed among citizens as two- and four-wheeler registrations came down by over 14% in Pune and 5% in Pimpri Chinchwad in the financial year 2018-19 as compared to the registrations in the previous fiscal.

As per regional transport office (RTO) data, though registration of private vehicles declined, those used for public transport, including taxis and autorickshaws, showed a considerable rise in 2018-19 as against the previous fiscal.

“It’s too early to assume that better sense has prevailed as the decline in private vehicle registrations can be attributed to a variety of factors, including fuel prices, Bharat Stage (BS)-VI norms that will kick in from April next year,” an RTO official said, adding that the numbers did indicate that public transport, especially taxis, were fast gaining popularity in the city.

Another official said the dip in two-and four-wheeler registrations was baffling. “I fail to see any specific reason for the decrease in the registration of vehicles and it is a shocker for us. A major part of our revenue comes from the registrations. The city’s public transport remains in a shambles. Even if we were to believe that public transport has improved, what is stopping people from buying private vehicles?” he asked.

Activists said the drop in registrations was bound to happen as the city already had more vehicles than the required infrastructure. “The worsening traffic situation and parking space crunch could be the two primary reasons. Having said that, the fall in registrations actually comes as a surprise since private vehicles are looked upon as status symbol than mode of transport,” Sujit Patwardhan, founder of Parisar, said.

Transport activist Sanjay Shitole had a different take altogether on the situation. “The condition of public buses may not have improved, but other modes of transport, such as cabs, are available and people are making use of them. People will use buses as well if they are safe, comfortable and run on time,” Shitole said.

Prashant Inamdar of Pedestrian’s First said there had been a major rise in buying vehicles to the point that it was bound to hit a plateau stage. “Nowadays, almost all families have got at least one vehicle. So, there may not be a great need of buying. Moreover, apart from the high-end four wheelers, other vehicles are not coming up with new models,” he said.

The representative of an automobile firm said BS-VI norms, which will come into effect from April next year, could also be one of the reasons. “With the new emission regulations set to be implemented from next year, the vehicles are expected to see a technology change. It is possible that people may have dropped their plans of new buys until next year, when BS-VI complaint vehicles will roll out,” he said.


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