The Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Panvel has been witnessing registration of the highest number of high-end luxury cars for the past few years, compared to other RTOs in the region. These luxury automobiles are those high-end cars, which cost more than Rs 50 lakh each, and can go up to more than Rs 1 crore.
Officials at the Vashi RTO revealed that the Local Body Tax (LBT) of 3 per cent, which is applicable for vehicle registration at Vashi, is the main reason behind more vehicles getting registered at Panvel. As per the 3 per cent LBT, a motorist purchasing a vehicle costing R1 lakh would have to pay additional Rs 3,000 for this cess.
Hence, in order to avoid paying extra charges, people prefer the Panvel RTO. In the financial year from April 2013 to March 2014, 82 of such high-end cars were registered at Panvel. In the next fiscal, April 2014 to March 2015, the number rose to 125 cars.
This year, from April 2015 to June 2015 (first week), 34 luxury vehicles costing above R50 lakh each were registered in Panvel alone. From January 2014 to December 2014, only 78 high-end cars were registered at Vashi. Further, this year from January to May, 59 of such vehicles got registered at Vashi.
The area from Digha to Belapur comes under Vashi RTO’s jurisdiction, while the Panvel RTO covers Panvel city, Kharghar, Uran, Karjat and Khopoli.
New Vashi RTO in limbo
Meanwhile, the proposal of constructing a new office at Nerul for the Vashi RTO has been pending for the past eight years. A high-tension wire passing through the selected plot at Sector 13 is the reason behind the delay.
The present RTO near APMC market has been facing a space crunch, as a result of which it is becoming difficult for applicants to clear the learner’s licence test and complete other document-related work.
Officials at the Vashi RTO also revealed that they do not have adequate space to store documents. From April 2011 to March 2012, the number of new vehicles registered at Vashi RTO was 34,204, while Panvel recorded 46,213 new vehicles. The Panvel RTO started operations only four years ago in the year 2011.
Arun Kumar Yeola, deputy regional transport officer, Panvel RTO, said, “The neighbouring areas of Panvel have many farmhouses and second-home properties, which belong to the affluent section of society. They prefer getting their vehicles registered at the Panvel RTO due to the geographical proximity.”