Delhi Plans To Bring In Road Congestion Tax, One-Way Corridors
In order to ease congestion on Delhi roads, Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal has announced key measures that would be adopted on a pilot basis in near future to check their feasibility. While the number of vehicles on Delhi roads have increased by almost 50 times between 1971 and 2017, the road length has increased only by four times. The number of vehicles in Delhi is increasing at the rate of approximately three per cent per annum. The LG was speaking at the inaugural session of ConnectKaro, a conclave on sustainable cities where he sought suggestions from urban planners and transport experts for decongesting Delhi.
In order to control vehicle population on the roads, here is what Baijal suggested:
Delhi LG has proposed the creation of a network of one-way streets on existing stretches to ease congestion. Currently, a survey is being conducted to assess stretches where such restrictions can be imposed. It will be most probably in areas where parallel connections are available. As per media reports, the rule will be implemented in major markets such as Connaught Place, Karol Bagh and Sarojini Nagar, Traffic patterns in ITO, Delhi Gate, Hauz Khas and Nehru Place are also under assessment.
The central government along with the three municipal corporations and the Union urban affairs ministry has finalised 21 stretches where congestion tax could be imposed in the upcoming months. The stretches included the corridors between Aurobindo Chowk and Andheria More, the Nehru Place and Modi Mills flyover, areas around Hauz Khas Metro station on the Outer Ring Road, the ITO intersection, and parts of Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Mathura Road and Pusa Road. Currently, a methodology is being chalked for the implementation of charges.
Restricting vehicle registration
Currently, Delhi has more than 10 million registered vehicles, out of which nearly 6.8 million are two wheelers. According to government sources, the number of cars registered in the city as of May 2017 was 3.1 million — the highest in the country — with a density of 93 cars per km of road. To curb vehicle registration in the city, the authorities might bring in reforms such as presenting proof of parking space, introducing more taxes on the second vehicle, scrapping of old vehicles and bringing in more tax slabs based on fuel type or pollution cess.