Congestion tax on vehicles along Mumbai Metro routes soon?
Mumbai civic body joins study conducted by the MMRDA to explore feasibility of ideaUpdated: Jun 01, 2019 01:24 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has joined a study being conducted by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to find out the feasibility of levying a congestion tax on vehicles in areas that run parallel to Metro routes.
A senior BMC official said, “The plan is to levy congestion tax on private vehicles using routes that will be connected by upcoming Metro corridors in the city and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). In this, motorists will be levied congestion tax or high parking charges on areas that are parallel to Metro routes. This will ensure people are demotivated from using private vehicles.”
However, there is no decision yet on how much the congestion tax will be.
The idea to levy such a tax is part of the MMRDA’s plan to have a dedicated transport fund that it feels is needed for infrastructure projects in the MMR.
RA Rajeev, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, termed the idea a “futuristic plan”. Rajeev said, “The study is at a basic level. As MMRDA keeps on doing different futuristic studies, this is one such study.”
The MMRDA has sought assistance from several agencies including Railways, regional transport offices (RTO) and the BMC to examine the feasibility of the tax. “Recently, MMRDA held a stakeholders’ meet wherein several agencies were invited for levying of congestion tax in MMR. Our role will be limited to the city; however, MMRDA, having jurisdiction in the MMR, is planning to have it in the whole region,”said a BMC official.
In terms of global practice when it comes to congestion tax, New York City recently passed a congestion pricing scheme wherein it will charge fees on private vehicles driven to specific locations during peak hours and then use the money to fund public transportation.
AV Shenoy, member of Mumbai Vikas Samiti, a forum of transport experts, said, “The plan is practiced worldwide but it should be implemented purely on basis on technical merits like charging tax for congestion during peak hours in areas of Mumbai where roads are narrow.”