A new notice from the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) of Chandigarh has forced a lot of automotive consumers in a difficult situation. As per the notice, a restriction is put into force on the registration of internal combustion engine two-wheelers until the ongoing financial year comes to an end. The registration of petrol two-wheelers in the city has been stopped since February 10. According to industry sources, people who have bought two-wheelers are now unable to get their High-Security Number Plates (HSRP) and physical RC copies, and use their new vehicles as dealers are not able to complete the registration process on the Vahan portal.
A dealer on the condition of anonymity said, “Such a rule is arbitrary and takes the choice out of the customer’s hands. People who have already bought their 2-wheelers or are about to buy are now stuck. Two-wheelers are a source of livelihood for many of those people.
“The policy is drafted without considering practical constraints, if the production of electric 2-wheelers is not 35 per cent of overall 2-wheeler volumes then how the Administration can force that sales should be 35 per cent.”
It may be noted that the city has only a handful of public charging stations, and according to reports most of them are in a non-functional condition.
“The EV products are almost double the price. I cannot afford it. Also, how will I travel to Ludhiana from Chandigarh if there are no charging points? Even if there are charging points, it will take hours to charge it, so it’s not at all feasible. Why should I not be able to make a choice for myself?? said an aggrieved customer.
Hero Splendor, the country’s largest-selling motorcycle and Honda Activa, the largest-selling scooter, are priced at around Rs 80,000 rupees, while electric scooters of popular brands like OLA, and Ather are priced at over Rs 1 lakh rupees. Thus, putting the extra upfront burden on customers, who are mostly from middle and lower-income groups.
Another industry source said, ?There is a clear shift towards EVs and the entire ecosystem of the government and the industry is working towards it. However, by putting such a rule in place, the local authorities are curbing the free market, which will impact the overall local economy as well.”
Under the EV policy rolled out in September 2022, the UT administration will stop registration of non-electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers from the 2024-25 fiscal (April 2024). The UT stopped registering non-electric two-wheelers from February 10 for this fiscal after achieving the 65 per cent level of petrol-powered two-wheeler registrations of the last year.
The Federation of Automotive Dealers Association (FADA) has moved the high court seeking relief from the policy. The division bench headed by Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha issued a notice to the UT administration on Thursday.
With inputs from PTI