Even as 66-km of work on the Hyderabad Metro Rail has been completed, registration of private vehicles continue to be on the rise. In what appears to be a consistent trend, data obtained by TNM shows that the number of vehicles registered in Hyderabad continues to be on the rise each year. Between January and May 2018, 3,94,438 vehicles were registered whereas 4,24,308 vehicles were registered this year in the same time period. That is an increase of nearly 30,000 vehicles or 8 percent.
Even if the numbers were to be taken month-wise, January of last year saw 82,107 vehicles compared to 93,284 of January this year. February saw the highest rate of increase with 82,724 vehicles last year and 97,231 in February this year.The month of March had 84,579 vehicles registered last year compared to 97,944 this year. The total number of vehicles registered in 2018 were 10,87,502. A survey said that at the end of 2018, the private vehicle population of Hyderabad was around 53 lakhs with 43 lakhs being two wheelers.
The increase in registration of vehicles is a worrying sign because of how damaging it could be to the environment but also due to the extra traffic congestion it will cause on the city’s roads.
With air pollution numbers at their peak and fuel prices which will only continue to increase, traffic congestion is the least of the city’s problems.
“All these new vehicles help deplete our fossil fuels that much faster and air pollution will keep increasing as well” said Anant Maringanti, director of Hyderabad Urban Lab, an urban research centre. He told TNM that one of the reasons for the increase in vehicle registration was because it keeps getting easier for customers to finance their new vehicles.
“Because customers readily receive loans to purchase new vehicles they think “If I can afford it, I will buy it”. Another reason is the urban context wherein personal vehicle usage is encouraged by the social environment across the country” he said. He also claimed that another reason might be the public’s lack of faith in public transport.