Congestion tax on private vehicles to encourage public transport

New Delhi: Urban development minister S Jaipal Reddy on Wednesday criticized Indians for treating cars as status symbols. Reddy argued that the government could not stop people from buying cars but must design policies that discouraged buying of cars and promoted use of public transport. Reddy asked the states to consider imposing a road congestion tax on private vehicles to encourage public transport and check vehicular pollution in cities.

To a question on plans to introduce measures like congestion tax on private vehicles, Reddy said, “These are matters to be thought over and decided upon by the state governments. But having regard to size of cities, every state must think of measures like congestion tax.” Calling Indians “car maniacs”, he said, “Upwardly mobile classes are crazy about cars. Car is a status symbol in the country and this state of car mania can be done away with only in a subliminal way and not by the government.”

Reddy highlighting that over 1 lakh people were killed in road accidents every year, the minister asked the authorities to take due care of pedestrians. “Roads in the country are extremely cruel to pedestrians. The foot over-bridges are so intimidating that people prefer to cross the roads rather than use them. These are small things, which have to be taken into consideration,”

The government could not stop people from buying cars but must design policies that discouraged buying of cars. He criticized Indians for treating cars as status symbols and asked to impose restrictions like ‘one car for one family. Imposing road congestion tax on private vehicles will encourage public transport, reduce vehicular pollution in cities and discourage buying of cars.

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One response to “Congestion tax on private vehicles to encourage public transport

  1. Rajesh Panjwani

    Since I live in Bangalore I would focus the comments to the condition in my City.
    First I think Mr Reddy should justify the High Road tax (~13%) they charge in Bangalore. Then he should talk about congestion tax. There is little improvement in Road conditions, and every year its the same story after rains.
    Another tax is another way to extract from people for themselves. People are helpless and would have to pay. Just because something is successful in Singapore doesnot mean its good for India, there are lot of other factors which make it successful there. Do we have the public transport as good as Singapore? Roads? What about Commute time? What about crime rate? I would not prefer taking a public transport at odd hours in India.
    There are many ways which we can adopt before thinking about taxing. Ex: In B’glore, all areas are closed on Sundays, Why can’t we allocate day of closure for an area. This is working very well in Delhi. Some areas are closed on Monday, some on Tuesday.
    Another way is to change school timing. Here the school timing are very bad,(8-9am till 4pm) clash with peak hour morning traffic, if school timing are made a little early, the children will also come home early in evening and have timing to do other activities.

    I hope someone from Mr Yeddurappa’s govt reads this.

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