Govt fails to stop people from buying diesel cars

Twenty five per cent hike in registration fee in Delhi has no impact

The decision of the Delhi government to discourage people from buying diesel vehicles by hiking registration fee has failed to make the desired impact. Contrary to what had been aimed, the number diesel vehicles – both private and commercial – have witnessed a sharp increase in the current financial year as compared to previous years.

As per the data of transport department, a total of 54,515 diesel vehicles – 42,092 private vehicles and 11,423 commercial vehicles – have already been registered till February in the current financial year (2011-12).

The number of diesel cars registered in the current fiscal witnessed exponential increase as compared to last financial year.

A total of 39,187 new diesel vehicles – 31,893 private and 7,294 commercial – were registered in 2010-11.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had proposed a 25 per cent hike in the registration fees in the last budget.

The Delhi government had proposed the hike with an aim to discourage people from buying such vehicles due to environmental concerns.

However, the rate of increase of diesel vehicles has in fact increased.

While over 15,000 extra diesel vehicles were registered during the current fiscal, the net increase in the number of vehicles registered in 2010-11 in comparison to 2009-10 was only around 4,000.

A total of 35,262 diesel vehicles were registered in 2009-10.

Experts say

According to experts, the price of diesel vis-a-vis price of petrol and compressed natural gas and performance of diesel vehicles are some of the major reasons why Delhiites are still buying diesel cars in high numbers.

“Car owners find it more prudent to go for diesel cars as the petrol price is substantially higher than diesel. Apart from saving money due to fuel price, the mileage of the diesel vehicles is also better than the petrol version. The CNG engine lose out to diesel cars as the difference between price of CNG and diesel is not very steep.

“The pick up of the diesel vis-a-vis CNG engines also is an added push towards diesel vehicles,” said Atul Peshawari, president of Diesel Petrol Association – an association of the petrol pump owners.

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