50 lakh vehicles on Bangalore roads. Really?

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BANGALORE, December 21: As per statistics provided by the transport department, the numbers of vehicles in the city has reached almost 50 lakh. This figure includes over 30 lakh two-wheelers and 10 lakh cars. The figure for the entire state is 1.25 crore, including 90 lakh two-wheelers and 15 lakh cars.

These statistics are being maintained since 1954.

However, former transport commissioner Bhaskar Rao says that if at all Bangalore has 50 lakh vehicles, there would have been no space for them to move.

According to him, the statistics do not account for vehicles that are scrapped or unused.

This is because owners of personal vehicles rarely intimate the department about the non-use or scrapping of aged vehicles. Secondly, the department does not have a mechanism to ascertain whether a particular vehicle is in use or not.

A senior official in the transport department said that owners of personal vehicles pay lifetime road tax. Though it is mandatory that such vehicles should get a new fitness certificate after 15 years, not many owners get it done. In some cases, the vehicle may even have been scrapped, the official said.

Commercial vehicles

In contrast, ascertaining the number of commercial vehicles is easy as they have to obtain a fitness certificate every year and pay road tax periodically, the official said.

He suggested a method to arrive at a figure that might be closer to the actual number of vehicles on the city’s roads. Deduct the number of personal vehicles recorded in 1998, which is 15 years ago, from the latest statistics. The total number of vehicles would come down by 10 lakh at least, he said.

There were 8.39 lakh two-wheelers and 1.52 cars as on March 31, 1998. If these are deducted from the August 2013 figures, we are left with 24.47 lakh two-wheelers and 7.8 lakh cars.

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