Soon, peak-hour drive in busy areas will cost you
Vehicle owners may need to shell out “congestion charges” to drive in peak hour in busy city areas, if a proposal by the urban development (UD) ministry is accepted by state governments, Moushumi Das Gupta reports.delhi Updated: Jan 23, 2013 01:44 IST
Vehicle owners may need to shell out “congestion charges” to drive in peak hour in busy city areas, if a proposal by the urban development (UD) ministry is accepted by state governments.'
Modelled on London and Singapore, the ministry, in an attempt to de-congest some of the busiest central business areas across Indian cities, is considering introducing “congestion charges.”In London, for instance, congestion charge is imposed in a 20-sq-km area around the city centre using automatic number plate recognition cameras at 348 entry sites. Vehicle owners have to pay £10 for entering the area.
Sudhir Krishna, UD secretary had on January 15 written to state chief secretaries to “consider adapting congestion charging system as a measure to decongest central business districts” and “control pollution.”
The ministry has asked states to not only to identify the most congested areas in their cities but also get a study done on various aspects of the congestion charges as per the city requirement.
The modalities, including the amount to be charged and where to charge, has to be worked out by the respective governments as transport is a state subject. “To start with, we may have the manual permit/coupon system as was done in Singapore when it was first introduced,” Krishsna’s January 15 letter to states.
But the ministry feels that the “most desirable and effective way” would be online payment /SMS/ prepaid payment and based on vehicle identification through cameras or boxes installed in cars.