Levy congestion tax to support public transport: Experts

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‘It will encourage drivers to shift to off peak hours or use less congested areas’

Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 2
‘Congestion pricing system’ and ‘car ownership restraint policy’ were some of the suggestions made by the experts to increase dependency on the public transport system during a seminar on Urban Transport in Delhi organized by the state government today.

Opinions were expressed on levying congestion charges on corridors experiencing heavy traffic during the peak as well as off peak hours.

Speaking on ‘an approach to the solution of traffic problem’, Prof PK Sarkar of Department of Transport Planning, School of Planning and Architecture, said that pricing measures seem to be more attractive to the decision makers since they are effective in achieving their objective, particularly in generating revenue, which would help improve transport infrastructure.

“We often tend to demand more of a product or use it wastefully if it is provided free of charge. But if we have to pay a price that reflected its cost, we would be more rational in using it. Hence, congestion pricing is premised on a basic economic concept,” he said.

Prof Sarkar suggested that charging can be used as an economic tool which will deter the public from going through the congested area.

“It can provide alternative to drivers to shift to off peak hours or use less congested areas,” he said.

An urgent need to explore ‘car ownership restraint policy’ was also discussed to address the issue of increasing dependence on cars.

Three main types of policies were suggested for putting restraint on car ownership, including licensing system, increasing taxation and increasing interest rate on car loans.

Prof Sanjay Gupta of the Department of Transport Planning, School of Planning and Architecture, said that implementing these measures will result in 33.5 per cent less number of cars. It would also lead to decrease in fuel consumption and green house gas emissions.

  

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