The move of imposing congestion tax will help ease traffic problems in Delhi and will also keep a check on the pollution levels, said Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials, a meeting will be held on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
However, the Delhi government is of the view that the congestion tax should be imposed only after parking charges have been increased.
“We have asked the civic agency to first increase the parking charges and then impose the congestion tax. Without increasing the parking charges, the exercise of imposing congestion tax would prove futile. A meeting has been called to discuss this issue at a greater length,” said PK Tripathi, chief secretary of Delhi.
The Delhi government has to submit a plan of action for reducing traffic congestion and pollution in the city to the High Court. Imposing congestion tax is part of that plan of action."Whether the tax will be imposed on toll plaza for the entire city or will be restricted to certain areas is still being worked out. The MCD and the NDMC, too, are working on a plan for its own areas," said the official.
Traffic jam has been increasing in the city over the past few years as the number of vehicles in the city has been constantly on a rise. The Capital has a total of 70 lakh vehicles and on an average, 1,300 vehicles are added to Delhi roads.
“A meeting was held with the chief secretary where the issue of congestion tax was discussed to reduce traffic jams in the city. By imposing tax, we would be able to discourage the use of private vehicles in the city and encourage use of public transport,” said a senior government official.
The officials further pointed out that before imposing the congestion tax, parking sites will have to be increased as those not wishing to enter a particular restricted zone will need a place to park their vehicles.
“The areas which are heavily congested fall under the congestion charge zone and those entering it within a set period of time, say between 9am to 6pm, will have to pay a charge,” added the official.