The number of new vehicles registered in Delhi reduced by 11%, dropping to 7.8 lakh in 2016-17 from the 8.77 lakh recorded in the last financial year, while diesel consumption dipped by 16% in the capital, according to the Delhi Statistical Handbook, released by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
Diesel consumption decreased from 15,08,000 metric tonnes (MT) in 2015-16 to 12,67,000 MT in 2016-17, while petrol consumption increased marginally from 9,02,000 MT to 9,06,000 MT. Sisodia highlighted this as an achievement of the government, and said, “I congratulate Delhi for the reduction in consumption of diesel during the current year (2017) in comparison to previous years — an indication of growing awareness towards curbing air pollution.”
However, B Sengupta, former CPCB member secretary, said, “I am not sure if the decrease in diesel consumption has a lot do with public awareness about air pollution or the link between diesel and health issues. This period coincides with the NGT’s ban on 15-year-old diesel vehicles and also Supreme Court orders against the use of dirty fuels. This is not reflective of a larger systemic change.”
The handbook states that 7.78 lakh new vehicles were registered, taking the total number of vehicles registered till March 2017 to 1.05 crore. Of these, there are 31.53 lakh four-wheelers and 67.08 lakh two-wheelers. This is in contrast to last year, when the number of new vehicles registered in Delhi shot up by 64%. In 2015-16, 8.77 lakh new vehicles were registered, up from 5.34 lakh in 2014-15, and 5.19 lakh in 2013-14. The 2012-13 period saw registration of 3.36 lakh new vehicles.
Explaining the dip in car sales, an official of the transport department said, “It is for the first time that there has been a dip in registration of new vehicles. However, this year coincides with demonetisation, and sales have picked up again.” DTC bus services were availed by an average 31.55 lakh passengers during 2016-17. The total strength of DTC bus fleet is 4,027, of which 1,275 buses are air-conditioned. The number of reported road accidents decreased from 8,085 in 2015 to 7,375 in 2016, the handbook stated.