The steady growth of vehicle sales in India clearly indicates a growing economy and increased purchasing capacity of the people. However, the spurt in sales is not healthy if the development of infrastructure doesn’t keep pace with it.
The vehicle sales in India stood at 1.96 crore units in 2016 – highest in history. Urban expert N Ranganathan says that if the sale momentum is sustained, there will be around 35 crore vehicles on Indian roads in the next 20-30 years from the current 18.6 crore vehicles.
That’s an alarming number of vehicles to deal with given that our road and urban infrastructures, general on-road behaviour, and vehicular safety are not up to the mark. The traffic congestion is already maddening in most cities and imagine double the number vehicles plying the roads!
According to ET, Uttar Pradesh leads vehicle registrations last year with 24.38 lakh units. Maharashtra and Karnataka finish second and third with 19.91 and 15.15 lakh units respectively. The registration figures also include re-registration of old vehicles but their population is negligible.
It’s to be noted that roughly 75% of the new registrations is accounted for by two wheelers. Easy availability of vehicle loans is one of the primary reasons for the steady growth of private vehicles.
One way to keep the alarming growth of vehicles at bay is to encourage people to embrace public transport systems. Taxes for private vehicle owners are much less than taxes for bus owners who need to pay annual taxes as per the number of seats. Such a system discourages entrepreneurs from exploring opportunities in public transport sector which could ultimately lead to less number of cars on roads.