Although the state government has termed the Traffic Restraint Scheme (TRS) recommended by the V.M. Lal Committee in 2000 as impractical, a survey of 1,524 Mumbaiites by Hindustan Times and Ipsos Indica Research found that 68 per cent feel vehicular movement must be restrained to decongest the city.
Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG), a city-based non-governmental organisation that is battling to decongest the roads, has filed a public interest litigation seeking implementation of the TRS.
BEAG contended that the scheme was capable of reducing both — vehicular pollution and congestion during peak hours. BEAG’s contention was that less than 10 per cent of Mumbai’s population — which owns and travels in private vehicles — was utilising 90 per cent of road space at the cost of the remaining 90 per cent the population that uses public transport.
The government, while replying to the petition, refused to even experiment with the TRS. Instead, the state is putting its faith in several infrastructure projects and enhancement of the public transport system.
Mumbai First, a Hindustan Times initiative to take the problems faced by the public to the authorities, revealed that residents were willing to experiment with TRS.
Sixty per cent of those surveyed felt the government should levy more taxes on vehicles to encourage people to use public transport in addition to the TRS.