Thiruvananthapuram

One in 3 Keralites has a vehicle

With the number of motor vehicles registered in the State reaching 11,111,393, one among every three Keralites now owns a motor vehicle with valid registration.

For the last two decades, the motor transport sector, an important and integral part of the State economy, has registered an annual growth rate of 10%. The number of motor vehicles per 1,000 population in the State is 305 while that of the country is 18. For China it is 47 and the U.S. 507.

The motor vehicles in the State had six years ago exceeded the number of households in the State, which is over 60 lakh.

Vehicle population

About 2,360 motor vehicles are added to the vehicle population daily. Of the 11,111,393 vehicles with valid registration as on March 31, 2017, as much as 64.16% are motorcycles and 20.53 % are motor cars.

The number of vehicles in Kerala was only 0.24 lakh in 1960, 0.86 lakh in 1970, 1.75 lakh in 1980, and 5.81 lakh in 1990. There has been a spike thereafter, with 19.1 lakh in 2000 and 53.98 lakh in 2010, before soaring further and reaching 94,21,245 in 2015.

Traffic has been growing at a rate of 10% to 11% every year, resulting in excessive pressure on roads that have not improved proportionate to the number of motor vehicles. The total road length of the State during 2015-16 is 2,05,545.616 km, according to the Economic Review 2016.

The road density of the State is 528.8 km per 100 sq km and it is far ahead of the national average of 387 km per sq km.

The length of road per lakh population is 615.5 km. Almost 90% of the road network is single lane and below standard.

The spurt, especially in personal vehicles, in a State that has a population of over 3.34 crore, is cited owing to overdependence on personal transport and inefficiency of public transport — both KSRTC and private stage carriers, lack of mass rapid transit system in the major cities, and new lifestyle goals.

The increase in vehicle population has led to traffic congestion and mounting automobile pollution, says Chief Scientist, Natpac, B.G. Sreedevi.

Efficient and user-friendly MRTS and public transport system and last-mile connectivity is the need of the hour, she added.

The vehicle population has an impact on road safety. From 1,528 accidents and 235 deaths in 1960, the number of road accidents has gone up to 39,455 and 4,171 deaths in 2016.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 1:29:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/one-in-every-3-keralites-has-a-motor-vehicle/article18468042.ece

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