Deviating from the compounded annual growth rate of above 10% for the past two decades, the growth of vehicle population in Kerala has decreased by 6.36% in 2020 over the previous year’s 10.7%.
The number of newly registered vehicles in 2019-2020 was 8,49,200 in the State compared to 12,92,295 vehicles registered in 2018-2019. Of the new vehicles that hit the road, 65% were motorcycles (5,85,740), 22% four wheelers (1,91, 891), goods vehicles and autorickshaws 5% each, buses 1% and tractors, tillers and others 2%.
The number of vehicles having valid registrations as on March 31, 2020 is 1,41,84,184 against 1,33,34,984 in the previous year. This for the first time since 2015-16 that the vehicle registrations have shown a decline. In 2015-16, the percentage increase over the previous year was 8. The growth was 8% in 2016-2017, 9% in 2017-2018 and 10.7% in 2018- 2019. The highest growth of vehicle population of 17% over the previous year was in 2012-2013.
Kerala’s number of vehicles per 1,000 population as on March 2019 is 425 compared to the country’s 18 per 1,000 population, China’s 47 and United States 507 as per the World Development Indicators of 2015.
Ernakulam has the highest district wise growth of motor vehicles with 20,55,842 (14.49%) followed by Thiruvananthapuram (17,72,975; 12.49%). The lowest number of 2,35,759 vehicles is in Wayanad (1.66%).
The two-wheeler registration as of September 2020 was 51,979 against 56,171 in the same period in 2019, a decline of 7.46%. During the same period, the number of three wheelers registered in the State has also gone down from 2,600 to 1,182 — a decrease of 54.54%.
“The decline in vehicle population is mainly due to economic recession that has affected low income and middle income groups following the two successive floods in Kerala,” says Highway Engineering Expert and former Natpac Director B.G. Sreedevi.
Revenue goes up
However, the revenue earned by the Kerala Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) through vehicle tax has gone up from ₹3,625.31 crore in 2018-2019 to ₹4,582.92 crore in 2019-2020, registering an increase of 26.41%. The revenue earned by the MVD in 2020-2021 till September is ₹1,063.72 crore.