The Delhi government is mulling over a proposal to levy "extra and highly enhanced fees" on the sale of properties along the Metro rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors, while allowing property taxes to remain the same.
This is to reduce 'gentrification' - buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper/middle-income families or individuals, thus improving property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses.
Simply put, the move will help potential public transport users retain their houses near such hubs and avoid being displaced by car users.
A five-year action plan prepared by the Delhi government and the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) to fight pollution in the Capital has proposed this move. Other proposals include reduction in bus fares and taxes on buses and increase in road tax for personal vehicles.
The action plan calls for augmentation of the Capital's bus fleet to 15,000 from the current 6,200 by 2014, seventeen bus clusters and 14 BRT corridors by 2016. There's currently only one BRT corridor in Delhi.
The plan also looks to create an urban transport fund. Part of this fund can be used to lower bus fares. "Since public transport needs to meet societal and environmental goals, it cannot be treated as a commercial enterprise and taxed," it says.
"We're scaling up non-motorised and public transport. We need resources to meet capital and operational costs. We need to lower bus fares to discourage car use. And for this, we need to asses resource generation for additional outputs," said a senior government official.
The plan looks to reduce taxes on buses to lower overall taxes. It also proposes to rationalise subsidies and make them more targeted. "We're looking at commercial development in bus terminals and depots," the official said.