Mar 12, 2018 11:04 PM IST | Source:

For the first time in India, a congestion tax being considered for Delhi

Vehicles entering certain roads in Delhi would be charged a sum of money via a ‘tags’ system.

Vandana Ramnani @vandanaramnani1

For the first time in India, authorities are considering to levy a congestion tax during peak hours to decongest Delhi city, Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal said on Monday.

“It is still work in progress. We have invited experts to study it. The charges are yet to be worked out,” he told reporters.

“In most countries, there is a congestion charge. We are also looking at this alternative as a way to decongest some of the roads which get clogged, particularly in the peak hours,” Baijal told reporters citing Singapore as example where such a system has worked well.

A levy would automatically deducted using a ‘tags’ system once a vehicle enters a congested road, he said, adding that they were also considering to make certain stretches ‘one-way for traffic’ to combat congestion.

“We are looking at the possibility of declaring roads which could be made a one-way traffic. But that is the subject matter of study by experts,” he said.

As for the parking policy, Baijal said it would be notified soon for Delhi. “We have put the draft of the policy in public domain inviting objections and suggestions. That exercise is over. I am hopeful that soon the parking policy for Delhi would be implemented on the ground,” he added.

Baijal, along with stake-holders such as the three municipal corporations and the Union Urban Affairs Ministry, has zeroed in on 21 stretches in the Capital where congestion tax could be imposed to ease traffic and check pollution.

The 21 stretches include the corridor between Aurobindo Chowk and Andheria More, Nehru Place flyover to 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, among others.

No time frame has been set for the congestion fee to take effect. Further, the amount of tax to be levied and the categories of vehicles; and how the system would be implemented are yet to be worked out.

According to transportation experts, London charges a congestion fee of P11.50 on weekdays in a 20-square km area around the city centre for vehicles entering between 7am and 6pm. It uses automatic number plate-recognition cameras at 348 entry sites, and vehicle owners entering the zones either pay online or via their mobile phones or at specific stores. Singapore follows a similar system.
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