Kashmir sees 5-fold increase in vehicles on road in 17 years
As per data from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) Kashmir, between 1971 and 2004, Kashmir logged 1,54,277 vehicle registrations.File/ GK

Kashmir sees 5-fold increase in vehicles on road in 17 years

1.75 lakh private cars major source of pollution

Srinagar: Kashmir has seen 468 per cent increase in new vehicle registrations in the last 17 years, which is a five-fold jump since 2004.

As per data from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) Kashmir, between 1971 and 2004, Kashmir logged 1,54,277 vehicle registrations. However, the spurt began 2004 onwards. According to RTO Kashmir data, 7,22,199 vehicles were registered between 2004 and August, 2021.

The share of private cars and two-wheelers in the total number of vehicles registered in the last five decades is almost 7 lakh. Out of these, car registration that has taken place is 3,11,608 while the registration number of two-wheelers is 3,85,672.

It may be mentioned that in 2019, Jammu and Kashmir government increased road tax on all sorts of motor vehicles in the state which had seen sharp increase in prices of automobiles, especially private cars. Despite a one-time tax of 9 per cent imposed on the total cost of vehicles using any public road in the UT, which includes both private cars and commercial vehicles, the car sales have continued unabated.

As per a market survey conducted by the business acquisition team of J&K Bank in 2018, car business had grown at an annual growth rate of 15 to 20 per cent. The survey said, "out of the overall car industry worth Rs 900 crore, the share of cars purchased through bank finance constitutes almost 90 to 95 per cent".

The automobile survey had revealed that despite the economic distress since 2014 floods, car business has been quite steady. As per figures of Motor Vehicle Department, as of March 2018, total number of 1,07,403 cars were present in Kashmir which has touched almost 1.75 lakh now. As per the bank's automobile survey, large scale migration of populations from far flung areas to towns is the reason that car business in these hinterland markets has seen a sharp increase.

As per the survey the most popular cars in demand are the ones priced between Rs 2.5 lakhs to Rs 3 lakhs.

“After doing a pan industry survey of the automobile market in Kashmir we have come to a conclusion that average cost price per car is Rs 3.4 lakhs. As compared to this the average pan India trend is of a much higher value as the average price is Rs 6 lakhs per car,” said a researcher who was part of the survey. As per the survey, despite Valley still not matching up to other cities in terms of popularity of high-end cars, the number of luxury cars on Kashmir roads has seen a considerable increase in the last 2 to 3 years.

As per automotive industry estimates, two-wheelers including bikes and scooty sales have also grown by a whopping more than 70 percent in the last few years. According to RTO Kashmir figures, more than 45,000 computerised driving licenses were issued in 2017-18 while in 2016-17 , despite the unrest witnessed in the Valley 28,500 new driving licenses were issued.

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