Chandigarh is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana and has the highest number of per head vehicles in the country with the city seeing registrations of approximately 200 vehicles every day. With more than 10 lakh vehicles registered in the city, which has a population of around 12 lakh residents, the numbers already says a lot. The vehicle ownership fascination here has increased more than ever. From 940 in 1967 to nearly 10.5 lakh vehicles in 2014 due to various reasons and exemptions. The number of four-wheelers registered in Chandigarh are around five lakh units while the two-wheeler counterpart have already crossed this figure years ago.
More than 45,000 vehicles are registered in Chandigarh annually. 45,113 vehicles were registered in the city in the year 2013, 51,259 in 2012 and 50,460 in 2011. The VIP number scene is huge as most of the rich and famous of the North live in Chandigarh. VIP numbers are sold in auctions as people here are obsessed with it. Two people recently bought the VIP number ‘0001’ for Rs. 7 lakh for their vehicles. Till last year, the registration price was less in Chandigarh, compared to Punjab and Haryana and it lured many people to register their vehicles here. However, the registration charges are same now but yet again the transfer fee is less in Chandigarh.
As a result of the rich and famous driving big cars, more than 150 road accidents have been reported in Chandigarh so far this year. The administration is also contemplating to impose strict measures by stopping the increasing use of personal vehicles by levying high parking charges and congestion tax in the city. The city administration has plans for Metro and bus Rapid Transit but it is a total waste considering most of the residents are filthy rich and won’t choose public transport at all and won’t mind the high price of congestion and parking charges either. Road safety initiatives and strict action when caught in the act is the only solution to this mess.