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Disincentivising Private Tpt - some light at the end of the tunnel

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Public Transport

Finally some light at the end of the tunnel.  Read this today in the ET

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Economy/Govt-plans-new-levies-on-vehicles/articleshow/4869629.cms

"The idea behind the exercise is to steer people away from personalised transport to public transport,” an urban development ministry official told ET. He added that while the Centre could contribute some amount to the fund, the majority has to be generated by states and municipalities"

...

"Other sources of funding at the state level identified by the ministry include additional registration fee on four- and two-wheelers, high registration fee for personal vehicles running on diesel, imposition of annual renewal fee on driving licences and vehicle registration and introducing taxes such as congestion tax and green tax."

This has come 10 years too late.  But better late than never.  Car ownership costs have come down significantly as a proportion of annual salaries.  I am sure the auto industry lobby will fight this tooth and nail.

Srivathsa

Comments

idontspam's picture

Highways not congested

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Vehicle ownership per 1000 people stands at 765 in the US vs a measly 12 for India. While we may move off fossil fuels etc our travel per capita needs to increase as our GDP goes up. 

 I think the right way to reduce congestion is by introducing congestion charging on a pay per use basis at the place where the congestion is happening rather than as a tax everywhere. A tax is a blanket charge and penalises people who do not cause congestion. Whereas a pay per entry into the congestion zone (like the rest of the world has done) will not only discourage congestion in the inner cities where the problem exists, but also makes it incumbent on the govt to provide alternatives like public transport etc. 

This move rightfully spanks of govt lining up its coffers with taxpayer money to fund their deficit instead of using their minds to find targetted solutions.

s_yajaman's picture

Make ownership expensive also

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IDS,

If you look at Bangalore's own CTTP I saw a number of some Rs10,000 crores on roads vs some 200 crores on pavements.  Car owners need to pay for this.   People without parking spaces are buying cars and lining them on the streets - essentially free parking.  The biggest item in BBMP's budget is roads.

Both have to happen - ownership has to get more expensive and usage as well.  Congestions zones even more so.   Else our cities will get choked.

As GDP goes up - people travel more.  By all means.  But nowhere are we saying that people should not travel.  Just pay for it. 

Srivathsa

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

idontspam's picture

Pay for parking too

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 People without parking spaces are buying cars and lining them on the streets - essentially free parking. 

Still doesnt explain tax. There shoud be no free lunch anywhere. Parking meters that exist on Brigade road need to be on every street where parking is allowed. So charge those who park on the street if they cant build a parking lot for themselves. 

You should find one of these meters in every street where parking is allowed

Parking meter

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Roads are not four wheelers/two wheelers owners property

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Neither is it the pedestrians property because they cannot walk on roads.  They can only walk on footpaths that are being denied.

- Social justice demands that those who occupy more road space must pay accordingly.  

- The private vehicle-wallahs are hogging most of the road space and are also paying more taxes than the footpath-wallahs.  Agreed, but is it commensurate? 

- Rs.100 crores spent for 7 kms of road for private vehicle-wallahs.  Can anybody certifiy that they have spent even one crore for laying neat footpaths - the same granite stones are being removed periodically, dressed again to make them look new and laid unscientifically for the footpath-wallah to hurt his toes and bleed?  paradoxes galore. 

- As for paying taxes, volume of footpath-wallahs is manifold and private vehicle-wallahs is miniscule.

- Clear case of stratified service to the maximum tax payer- the aam aadmi whereas the road users who travel on tyres and enjoy the maximum road space are pampered.

- aam aadmi Govindaa.... Govinda - kurigalu saar - kurigalu.

- Vasanth Mysoremath

 

Naveen's picture

Motorization Is High In Urban India

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Vehicle ownership per 1000 people stands at 765 in the US vs a measly 12 for India.

This maybe true, but motorization levels in the better off Indian cities is already similar to the wealthier cities in eastern europe & what is common in western european cities. Bangalore, with 7 million people has nearly 4 million vehicles, though at vastly lower levels of income than in Europe - 2-wheelers are the dominant category here with cars, a distant second. In europe, cars are the dominant category in almost all cities.

Motorization patterns in our cities is similar to elsewhere in East Asia & Asia pacific (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City - both Vietnam; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Bangkok, Thailand, etc.)

Whilst it may be true that congestion pricing is the answer to discourage this pattern of heavy concentration of private vehicles in cities, it might practically be difficult anytime soon since simple use of technology for traffic control is yet to see a beginning, yet.

BTRAC, the first such project is still to see the use of technology effectively with real-time monitoring to manage traffic. Such efforts are common now in most east asian cities & elsewhere, but we are yet to make a start. Congestion /cordon pricing is a step higher in technology use & we are nowhere close to this.

Unless our traffic management systems break away from the age-old manual system & start using technology, congestion pricing may not be possible.

The better option in the interim is to charge, in fact overcharge for parking & tax vehicles annually for ownership. This is unfair to rural India, no doubt, but there may be no alternative/s, at present.

idontspam's picture

History vs future

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 Unless our traffic management systems break away from the age-old manual system & start using technology, congestion pricing may not be possible.

This is where all attempts need to be focussed. We know why a lot of things are not existing in our country but the answer in implementing those and realising the benefits, not working around them with interim solutions. It has been my long held view that urban solutions are more than theory they need to be put to practice. 

Parking meters and congestion charging methods are not rocket science and we have to make the start. The administrators and govt know the pathetic state of our PT systems and are covering it up by not implementing congestion charging. Put congestion charging in place and then put pressure to solve PT. Dont wait till 2012 putting all eggs in metro basket, there will be a different excuse at that time. It will probably be that the govt has already collected the life time congestion tax so we are done with it.

There is another side benefit apart from pushing for effective PT coverage it will be the chance to push the new number plate standards to match the technology used for congestion charging. I belive moves are afoot for new number plates. 

Allow me to quote from here. "Urban challenges are running at 100km an hour, and we are patting ourselves on the back that our solutions are going from 10km to 20km an hour; in reality, the problems are actually going further away. The urban sector needs to be seen as a central linchpin of India’s development story. In doing this, we should have the maturity to move the debate beyond the tired clichés of rural-versus-urban or rich-versus-poor where addressing one somehow means depriving the other. We should also not get trapped in pusillanimous hand-wringing that we cannot do more. We NEED to address ALL our challenges, and harness ALL our opportunities, and have the courage and audacity to do these simultaneously"

Naveen's picture

Difficulties with Congestion Charging

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Very true & I submit to Ramesh Ramanathan's & your ideas.

However, the reality here is quite depressing. This is not for want of trying - a start has been made with heavy investments into BTRAC, but if my understanding is correct, the real time monitoring of traffic with CCTV cameras installed at various locations has not taken off yet, possibly for the following reasons :

Poorly trained staff, lack of co-ordination, theft of cameras, etc.

Another important point is the unavailability of alternative routes for traffic diversion. The advantages with real-time traffic monitoring is thus diluted to some extent & SMS messaging with "avoid roads around corporation" or similar msgs is being used as a better option, for the present.

The most important reason for not considering congestion pricing yet, may of course be fear of backlash from citizens, especially since PT is poor. Thus, it is a political problem & involves fear of citizens' reluctance to endorse anything that effects their commuting & hence their economic well being.

Though I (& Ramesh Ramanathan & you & many on this forum) may favor use of technology for traffic management & congestion pricing, the common man & most others may not subscribe to this view in the absence of alternative provisions & is the major obstacle for such initiatives to take off faster.

There is hope - the Metro is not too far away. The first section/s will commence operation by 2011, & by then, if traffic monitoring with CCTVs has made some progress, congestion pricing may follow soon & may not be too far off.

This pattern is quite similar to most east asian cities that have installed Metros, BRTs, etc.. Until a proper PT network is in place, use of technology & diversion of commuters from cars to PTs is not possible & we will have to make do with stop-gap measures - we also have the burden of insufficient street spaces.

idontspam's picture

Traffic Control Center

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 possibly for the following reasons :Poorly trained staff, lack of co-ordination, theft of cameras, etc.

AFAIK The control center is working but the number of screens is low because of want of space. A new building with multiple screens which was to be built shown to us by Mr Sood last year. It was expected to take at least 1 year which means it should be have been ready by now. I dont know the status of that. This was the only roadblock in augmenting capacity in his opinion.

Naveen's picture

Control Centre Is Ready

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During the meeting with citiconnect, I was given to understand that the control center is operating & access to real time traffic information is ready, though I'm not sure if it's the new center.

The monitoring facility is but a first step. Presently, this information can only be "relayed" to traffic wardens or road users - Nothing More, I guess !

idontspam's picture

Time for a visit?

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Maybe some of us can visit and see if it is a big improvement. Looks to have been ready quite a while back, this inaguration is dated late last year. This was SB's update around the same timeframe.

s_yajaman's picture

Congestions charges and others

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IDS,

Congestion is not the only social cost that cars impose on society.   It is one of many.   I suggest you read this. 

http://afo.sandelman.ca/cc1.html

So while congestion charges should be implemented ASAP, we need to tax cars so that there is some disincentive to buy and run them.  

Singapore has a GDP of $200B or more and has high car ownership costs, usage costs, parking costs and congestion charges.  You can have lower ownership costs by having a red plate car which you can use only on weekends and public holidays.   It's GDP has not suffered greatly.   Travel and private transport are not the same thing. 

Parking meters on every street, road, by lane?  Waiting for that day. 

Srivathsa

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

s_yajaman's picture

Read Ramesh Ramanthan's piece but...

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and nowhere did it say that private car ownership needs to be encouraged or we first need to create a problem and then solve it. 

Why are you confusing urbanization with unbridled motorization?  Yes the US has 765 cars/1000, but are we supposed to emulate that at our peril? 

I lived in Singapore for 6 years and did not own a car and did not find my quality of life in anyway worse off. 
 

"We NEED to address all..."  How?  That minor detail seems to be missing here :)

Srivathsa

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Naveen's picture

Vehicle ownership is lop-sided in India

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No doubt car ownership has to be taxed to keep a check & control on growth - they already are - Indian vehicle taxation is already higher than in many other countries.

It is also correct that we do not have to emulate the US - which is perhaps the worst example in the world - excessive motorization with little or no focus on PTs.

One cannot wish away private vehicles. Those who can afford will always be there & their wants will also have to be taken into consideration.

However, the anomaly here is that the concentration is too high in our cities (urban areas) whilst it is too low in rural areas.

The attempt by authorities must therefore be to make costs of ownership & operating vehicles higher in cities. This can only be done by congestion pricing & higher parking costs, besides other obstacles such as road use fee, tolls, etc..

s_yajaman's picture

And city specific taxes on cars and petrol

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We can always add city specific taxes on cars and petrol.  

No one is banning the manufacture of cars or bikes.  But we need to factor in their social costs and price it in (manufacturers will not do this as it is not in their interests to do so). 

I repeat, congestion is not the only cost that cars impose on cities.  It is the most visible one, but is not the only one.

Those who can afford will...  Same applies for congestion charges.  I can argue that a congestion charge is biased in favour of bigger cars driven by richer people for whom Rs.100 will not matter.  So we are clearing up the CBD roads to serve the richer people?  

Srivathsa

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

idontspam's picture

Tax the poor

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 So we are clearing up the CBD roads to serve the richer people?  

So your solution is to tax the poor people also who may have bought the car in Bangalore but would want to use their car to go to their farm or a sattelite town but ends paying for the city he does not drive in? A city specific tax you are proposing is a localised congestion charge.

Naveen's picture

More on Congestion Pricing

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City specific taxes on petrol may be a viable option, but I'm not sure for cars. In the past, people had bought cars in Pondicherry since taxes were lower there & then drove them in Bangalore, & got away claiming that the car was only temporarily here & that they were resident of that UT with ficticious Pondicherry addresses.

We need to factor in their social costs and price it in

Sure, the costs for causing disruption to others is minor when compared with environmental damage/s & several others, as outlined in various articles in the paper.

This will need to be recognized & tackled at the central govt level, if not at the UN level since America has been consistently getting away with it's car & environmental policies !

I don't think congestion charge would be biased in favour of bigger cars driven - we clear up CBD roads to serve all - the richer as well as PT users, but only car owners pay to drive there & then pay for parking.

s_yajaman's picture

Poor people buying cars? to drive to their farms?

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Poor people who buy cars to drive to their farms.  Good point.  I had not thought of this angle. :) 

In your view the only damage that cars cause is congestion.  If you don't want to read that link I posted, I can't do anything. 


"Other sources of funding at the state level identified by the ministry include additional registration fee on four- and two-wheelers, high registration fee for personal vehicles running on diesel, imposition of annual renewal fee on driving licences and vehicle registration and introducing taxes such as congestion tax and green tax."

Apart from additional registration fees which could be seen as unfair, what is wrong with any of the others.  Replace the word tax with fee if the libertarian in you cannot bear the word tax :)

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

blrsri's picture

Buy vehicle in Hosur..

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A recent article in TOI mentioned that Karnataka govt will not anymore charge registration charges for vehicles relocating from another state..so such congestion taxing need to take this loophole into considerations..

Btw if you guys didnt know..taxes on FMCG/Medicne pdts is far lower in TN and there is lot of smuggling happening from Hosur and nothing has been done on this for years..

idontspam's picture

What problem are we solving?

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Apart from additional registration fees which could be seen as unfair, what is wrong with any of the others.  

If taxing the vehicle itself is unfair, Why tax driving licenses??? How far fetched is that.

Green tax! I would love that, but it has to be a fee based on how polluting I am. Not a blanket tax for everybody including the Reva owner. European countries like France have a green tax for polluting vehicles but they also provide a bonus for driving a green vehicle. I dont want money from the govt but I dont want to pay for my neighbours gas guzzler.

Other than pollution to the environment and causing congestion in the city I know no other reason we need to be going after private transport. 

Naveen's picture

Charging For Social Costs

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Other than pollution to the environment and causing congestion in the city I know no other reason we need to be going after private transport

I think you need to consider these as costs too :

1) Roads & road maintenance.

2) Import of oil & oil subsidy - leakage of benefits to car users.

3) Depletion of scarce land resources hogged by highways for road development, particularly in our country where per person to land ratio is small.

4) Accidents & fatalities on roads & highways.

All these have to be brought to bear on private vehicle users.

Naveen's picture

Discourage Vehicles Every Way

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Why tax driving licenses???

To encourage people to use PTs - this will have an indirect benefit.

Not a blanket tax for everybody including the Reva owner.

We are not sure if electric cars will also be taxed - for all you know, they may be spared.

idontspam's picture

Apat from the top 2 issues

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 1) Roads & road maintenance.

This is what the fund being created was for and it needs to be filled not by taxes but by user charges.

2) Import of oil & oil subsidy - leakage of benefits to car users.

True this is already being heavily taxed and the direction is not penalty but new green technologies and an impetus to new technologies by tax reductions. 

3) Depletion of scarce land resources hogged by highways for road development, particularly in our country where per person to land ratio is small.

What will take the place for connectivity? Railways? Do they need less land? Air traffic can help, can poor afford it? Mobility will increase as people become more prosperous. You cant kill it by making it impossible for them to move around

4) Accidents & fatalities on roads & highways.

So how will public or mass transport not do this?

I think the situation where we make it very expensive for private transport to exist is going to be extremely detrimental in the long run. You will think you have saved the world while our people will languish at the bottom of the pile. Let us look at solving specific problem with specific solutions.

s_yajaman's picture

As I said

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IDS,

Call it a annual driving license renewal fee where you will be asked to check your eyesight, a refresher course on basic road rules, etc,  Don't we agree here that 15 year and 20 year driving licenses are also far fetched.  Okay - granted annual might be too much - but at least once in 5 years.

Cars rob a disproportionate amount of any city's finances.  Look at BBMP's own budget.  Some 1600 crores are spent on road upkeep.  I will check the numbers.   And look at the state of government schools and hospitals.   Now you will say that that part is not because of funding but because of maladministration.  But the truth is somewhere in between.  Funding is abysmal as well.  Or the drains or the parks or the lakes or the footpaths.  Take your pick.  Enrique Penalosa said something to the same effect,

Look at all that money that has been spent on road widening and flyovers.  The number of trees that have been chopped. All other road users needs have been subordinated to that of the car user.  

If you choose to interpret the green tax as a uniform tax, your wish.  It could very well be a tax that has some broad categories.  E.g. higher tax on carburettor vehicles and those that are more than 10 years old, higher tax on 1200 cc and above.  You have rushed to judge it negatively simply because the word tax is there.

Again, I want all these taxes to go into a fund that will improve public transport, pavements, safety for that city and not to fund NREGA or some other program.  I have nothing against the latter but should be funded by my income and service tax.

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

s_yajaman's picture

IDS - confusing arguments

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IDS,

We are talking within the context of a city.  Where does air transport, etc come in?

Who is talking of banning private transport.  And who is talking of saving the world?  We are talking of saving ourselves.   And who is killing mobility - the car user or the railway user?  Move around by all means.  As you said - no free lunch.  

Of course railways needs less land.  Is there even an argument about this.  Look at Bombay suburban.  60 km of 4 lane tracks on WR transports 2-3 million people each day.   Which road and private transport can do that? 

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Naveen's picture

Restraining - the only answer

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the situation where we make it very expensive for private transport to exist is going to be extremely detrimental in the long run. You will think you have saved the world while our people will languish at the bottom of the pile. Let us look at solving specific problem with specific solutions.

People do not languish at the bottom by using PTs, if such PTs are made efficient by restricting private vehicles - singapore is an example, as are most european countries. Restraining traffic with high costs whereever possible is the only way to keep numbers in check, particularly in Indian cities & highways which do not have road networks designed for very large numbers of vehicles.

Mass transits for inter-city or intra-city such as rail systems & buses require much less road or track space than if private vehicles are used freely. Thus, 8-lane & 10-lane expressways may not need expensive maintenance in the same way, much less require widening to such an extent at all in the first place.

vinod_shankar's picture

Some old posts on congestion tax..

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In todays scenario, every vehicle owner pays the initial road tax and assumes that he has the right to drive for eternity without giving so much as a thought about the damage he's causing to others and the environment.  Congestion charges will keep the vehichle owner/drivers that they have to cough up money every time they pollute the city and cause damage to others by unnecessary usage of private transport, when a good public transport is available.   In case of bangalore we can have congestion limits and impose congestion tax on

1. Private Cars/taxis

2.Private transport/carrier vehicles

3.Autos

Considering that in our country, its mostly the rich and upper middle class which own  cars, congestion charge  will not affect the poorer class of the society.  A well designed congestion tax system ,with implementation/ operations  outsourced to private players can make bangalore and other cities a better place to live in.  The idea of a congestion charge is to increase the usage of public transportation at the cost of private transport.  As observed number of person/private vehicle to person/public vehicle will result in lesser congestion. But i agree with you that and effective public transportaion system has to be in place, if  we have congestion charges.  I believe BMTC provides a good public transporation system for bangalore.  Atleast in the CBD a BMTC bus stop will be available  within 0.5-1.0km .with additon of metro the overall situation for public transport will improve to a great extent.  

some results from london congestion charging.  Keep mind that london has largest metro in the world,

In early 2003 congestion was introduced in london charging 5 pounds to drive into the city.  After one year these are the resuls

1. Car trips fell by a third

2. 15 % more bus journeys,20% more motorcycle journeys,30% more bicyle trips

And drivers who choose not to enter the congestion limits used the following.

1. 25% drove around it

2. 55% switched to public transport

3. 20% choose other alternative like bicycle, walks,work from home etc

sri with these many benefits,   we can afford to accept a little restriction on using private transport.

vinod

 

dvsquare's picture

But govt has to make sure that public transport is attractive

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I agree that for personal use, one shouldn't get the same price for diesel as for the commercial purpose whose life is dependent on those. Government can decide to subsidize only for public transport vehicles or whose life is based on vehicles. But before doing that, govt should be equipped with very good technology otherwise it will just increase corruption and solves nothing.

Government has to give a positive attitude towards its public transportation system, be it efficiency, comfortability, easy-to-use, reachable, traffic-obediency etc.

For example, BIAL buses are very good example of this, its the most reliable source of coveyence for one to and fro airport.

With the current BMTC buses, with all their rudeness in driving, creating traffic jams everywhere, taking left after standing on the rightmost lane and vice versa on all the signals, not at all caring about the other vehicles on the road, not stopping at the designated bust stops, stopping the bus anywhere on the road eating up all the 4 lane road, overtaking other buses specifically at the bus-stops, noone will be encouraged to use them. Now, I see the volvo buses too following the same old BMTC buses pattern.

skumaras's picture

Congestion charge criteria

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Congestion charge is a nice concept, but you need to define what the city limits are. Let’s say I live in suburban Bangalore and restrict my driving to within two kilometers of my home primarily for shopping and taking the children to various classes, do I still need to pay the congestion tax?

In London and in Singapore, the congestion charge is levied only in the core part of the city. People in the suburbs do not have to pay it.


idontspam's picture

Again: What problem are we trying to solve?

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Let us focus on the problems Private vehiles cause within the context of Bangalore city and ownership of a resident Banglorean (example: me).

Congestion problem - There hasnt been a more productive way of reducing congestion than introducing pay per use congestion charging and introducing public transport. You achieve the same result of taxing vehiles but only where the problem is caused. If I own a vehicle in Bangalore and use it only for long drives and use PT to commute to work why should I pay a congestion tax? Will you run a PT to my favourite hillstation and off road destinations? Why should I be taxed for the same? Why should I be discouraged from owning a private vehicle. (look at this from a congestion perspective only, if you want to solve environment thats the next issue below)

Pollution problem - Introduce a charge based on the level of pollution caused instead of a blanket green tax. The implementation will involve holding a emission certificate endorsed yearly and audited like your taxes with stiff penalty on default. This way you encourage innovation in pvt vehicles to keep it green. Like the congestion I am worried about the method and not the concept.

Fossil fuel problem - There are already a charges on petrol, provide benefits to green vehicles. What forms of encouragement exists for green vehicles. You cant make it expensive to tank up only in Bangalore. I will tank up in Chickballapur on my way out of the city. If there is increase all over India how will you impose increased taxes only for pvt vehicles at the point of fuelling without impacting commercial and cargo transportation? I am open for methods of ensuring the same.

vinod_shankar's picture

defining congestion charge limits

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Defining congestion limits for a city like bangalore is a tricky task, as the CBD is not well defined.  The core of the city has both business establishments and resdential units.  The design will require a lot of study  and field work.  The problems of our cities are quite unique compared to our western counterparts, so we'll need look for unique ideas to define congestion limits and charges.  It is not easy one , but its a worthy candidate for 'food for thought'. 

Map of london congestion limits

Naveen's picture

Focus On Other Problems Too

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You are welcome to use private vehicle only for long drives, why should you pay a congestion tax? Why should you be discouraged from owning a private vehicle ?

I will not dwell on congestion costs since you covered them well enough.

Nobody is discouraging you from owning a private vehicle, provided you contribute to costs for upkeep of infrastructure that you use (even if they were only long drives away from town).

When you buy a vehicle, it's clear that the vehicle will use roads & add to the future burden for road development programs & road maintenance costs throughout it's life. These costs cannot be quantified. Even the most developed countries have not been successful in quantifying this to any degree of accuracy.

The agency chain between what is paid by you as a road user & the funds brought back to bear on road development & maintenance cannot simply escape the usual budget funding & stay within a closed loop, as you desire.

The only answer is to aim for revenue generation as tax (or any other name, if  you will). This also keeps a check on vehicle population & is an effective tool for demand management. Let me remind you here that all roads cannot be tolled - nowhere in the world is this being done yet, but as you implied, this may happen in the future, but this is still too far, & will need a great deal of study for models to be developed for such accurate charging. We might even run out of fossil fuels by then.

provide benefits to green vehicles. What forms of encouragement exists for green vehicles ?

Well, even green vehicles (electric or hybrid) cause pollution to some extent by using electricity, which is generated from power plants that add to atmospheric pollution. The benefit is that such forms of pollution are much lesser than fossil fuels.

I concede that presently, there are no "rewards" or incentives to encourage such vehicles, but they will certainly be coming soon - when the bill is passed, it may already have provisions for this. Else, it might come about as an amendment sooner (rather than later).

how will you impose increased taxes only for pvt vehicles at the point of fuelling without impacting commercial and cargo transportation?

True, this has been a can of worms - & you seem to agree with the difficulties. Governmental efforts to assist the poor by offering subsidies for fuel is philanthrophic. The only way they can recover such subsidies is through vehicle taxation & such other measures. Hence, the proposed increase in taxes, or charges :) for diesel vehicles.

You did not address my questions related to use of land for mega highways & also accidents & fatalities.

Again, these cannot be quantified. For accidents, there is a system of third party insurance, but there are limits on it's efficiency. Enforcement is also a serious problem with a lot of corruption. Hit & run cases are all too common. Besides, if a private vehicle owner loses his life too, in the process of an accident, the other victims stay uncovered & government has been paying ex-gratia out of it's own funds - these are costs too, for owning private vehicles.

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