Luxury sedans and multi-utility vehicles with fancy numbers that you see ferrying athletes, delegates and officials in reserved Commonwealth Games lane are plying illegally on the city's roads. Sources in the transport department said neither Tata Motors, which has sponsored these vehicles to the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC), nor the OC have got these vehicles registered.
These vehicles are running on a document called the 'trade certificate', which the dealers obtain from the transport department for Rs 200 per certificate for restricted use including giving demonstration to prospective buyers or to take the vehicle from one state to another and getting it registered there. "No vehicle can be used for commercial purposes or for personal use with just the trade certificate.
It has to be registered with the competent transport authority," a senior transport department official said requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to talk to the media. Tata Motors spokesman Debashish Ray confirmed that the vehicles belonged to the company.
"We have given the cars to the OC for use during the Games. All procedures have been followed. If at all the procedures have not been followed, they will be followed soon," Ray said.
Games OC spokesperson Lalit Bhanot could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. According to officials, Section 34 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 clearly defines the purposes of the trade certificate. If the vehicle is found being used in violation of the rules, the enforcement team of the department and the traffic police can cancel the trade certificate and impound the vehicle.
Tata Motors, the official sponsors of the Commonwealth Games, has supplied 1,800 cars (Tata Indigo and Sumo Grande) to bring officials, delegates and athletes from the airport to the Games Village and various hotels across the Capital and ferry them around in the city.
The vehicles have special numbers starting with CWG and followed by a four-digit number from 0001 to 1800. Sources added the OC has also evaded registration and value-added tax, which goes to the Delhi government when an individual buys a car.
VAT is charged at the rate of 12.5% of the cost of the vehicle while registration is paid at the rate of 4 to 10%, depending on the ex-showroom price of the vehicle. Sources said the total loss to the state exchequer amounts to about Rs 50 crore.
"The OC had approached the Delhi government for exemption on VAT on these vehicles but the latter had expressed its helplessness," said an official.
Since the ownership of these vehicles is still with Tata Motors, sources said the company may later refurbish the car and sell it to gullible buyers as new.