Decongesting our cities

In a recent move by NDMC in Delhi, it decided to charge parking costs at the Khan Market to discourage use of vehicles at the instance of Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), however the traders took the civic agency to the court demanding that the agency withdraw these charges, and keep the parking free, which the court has decided in favour of the traders on the basis that traders would pay a fixed rent to NDMC. However the principles that were advocated by the EPCA seem to have been paperd over.

With increasing urbanization congestion of the cities has become a major concern, since congestion brings additional pressure on already burdened civic agencies, particularly on the roads, where everyone jostles for space – rickshaws, cycles, pedestrians, vendor carts, misc peddlers, encroaching shops, beggars and of course ever increasing number of vehicles. Then often contractors undertaking routine repair works for various civic agencies always do the same only during peak traffic times. Is it any wonder that tension and stress such an environment creates is taking its own toll on the urban dwellers?

Many cities around the world are increasingly resorting to congestion pricing (where if a vehicle enters in specified areas at a particular time, than special tariffs are charged – London, Stockholm, Milan, etc.) to decongest vehicles at a particular time. On similar principles, special charges are imposed on passengers taking flights at particular time of the day, so as to use price as a factor to influence the demand.

Perhaps in Delhi we the urban dwellers are still not ready to be taxed for creating an improved environment.

Socio Research & Reform Foundation
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