In the year 2012 alone, the Coimbatore Circle of the Transport Department comprising Coimbatore, Tirupur and the Nilgiris districts witnessed a registration of 2,17,785 new vehicles, both two-wheelers and four-wheelers, as against the registration of 2,15,627 vehicles during the previous year.

Though the increase in vehicular population worked out to only 2,000-odd, the vehicles will also have to use the existing road space which instead of witnessing an expansion was actually shrinking because of encroachments. Such a trend was resulting in chaos on roads.

Coimbatore City comprising Coimbatore South, Coimbatore North and Coimbatore Central alone witnessed a total registration of 1,19,741 whereas the same offices during the previous year witnessed a registration of only 1,18,251 new vehicles. In addition to these, there are RTOs in Pollachi and Mettupalayam in the district of which Pollachi witnessed an increase of 3,000 new vehicles while Mettupalayam witnessed an increase of 1,000 vehicles. The vehicles registered in the other two RTO offices, i.e., Pollachi and Mettupalayam, will also come into Coimbatore city adding to the pressure on roads. The spurt in registration of new vehicles in the district is closer to 6,000 vehicles. In 2011, the district had 1,44,785 new vehicles registered while it has shot up to 1,50,441 vehicles in 2012.

Similarly, the number of people which were issued driving licence in 2011 was only 95,706 in the entire circle in three districts and this year it has gone up to 99,582 vehicles. While the Coimbatore South and North witnessed an increase in number of licences issued, Coimbatore Central witnessed a marginal slump.

Secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause (CCC) K. Kathirmathiyon said that the increase in buying capacity of the people and the easy instalment schemes offered by automobile dealers had resulted in people opting to go for own vehicles, especially in the backdrop of absence of adequate modes of public transportation system and the existing ones proving to be inadequate.

There is a pertinent need to focus on city planning. Efforts should be made to identify pockets that required new scheme roads, link roads and also to plan for the future needs in terms of flyovers and elevated expressways as a long-term measure. As an ad-hoc measure, eviction of encroachments and widening of roads need to get top-most priority so that motorists could breath easy on city roads, he added.

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