THE PANDEMIC did not stop Chandigarh residents from buying automobiles during the festive season last year. Since the lockdown was relaxed, there was no stopping new vehicle registrations in the city.
According to data provided by the Registering and Licensing Authority, Chandigarh saw registration of over 9,000 new vehicles in October and November, with the highest number of registrations in November.
In November 2020, as many as 4,926 vehicles were registered. Of these, 3,002 vehicles were registered from November 1 to 14, the period in which Diwali and Dhanteras fall.
In 2019, Chandigarh saw registration of 3,354 vehicles between October 14 and 27.
While October and November of 2019 both saw registration of 9,076 vehicles, October and November 2020 saw registration of 9,622 vehicles.
There were 2,777 new registrations in March 202. It was only during the month of April that there were 0 registrations because of curfew in the city due to the pandemic. Since then, there is no stopping purchase of new vehicles.
In May, 967 new vehicles were registered, followed by sudden spurt to 2,461 in June.
July, August and September saw vehicle registrations of 2,954, 2,927 and 2,200 respectively. It almost doubled in October and November with 4,150 and 4,926. December 1 alone saw 457 registrations.
Balwinder Singh, who owns Manmohan Autostores, dealing with Royal Enfield bikes in Chandigarh, said that many people who would travel by public transport are preferring personal vehicles. “People who would go using car pool or public transport are now choosing personal transport. Many have purchased bikes,” Balwinder Singh.
Many car dealers were satisfied this Diwali with their sales as majority of their stock ran out with people going in for purchase of four-wheelers.
Automobile dealers said that their sales increased from 35 per cent last year to 50 per cent this year as people were switching to private transport.
CHANDIGARH’S VEHICLE DENSITY HIGHEST
Chandigarh is creaking under the strain of vehicles. With registration of over 10.5 lakh vehicles till December 2015, Chandigarh has the highest per capita ownership of motorised vehicles in the country, an increase of 61,706 vehicles over 2014.
Vehicle density is as high 878 per 1,000 population and is cited as one of the reasons for the deteriorated air quality in Chandigarh.
It has over two vehicles per household, making it the city with highest density of vehicles.
The percentage increase in the total number of vehicles in Chandigarh for over a decade (2007-2018) has been over 24.5 per cent. In August 2018, a report by the Centre for Science and Research had concluded that Chandigarh was the second worst among 14 cities in “per travel trip emissions” due to high usage of personal vehicles.
The share of car usage was close to 80 per cent in the city as compared to Lucknow (70 per cent), Ahmedabad (65 per cent) and Jaipur (60 per cent).
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