To curb the rapidly increasing vehicular population in the city, the Delhi Government is mulling a number of measures, including hefty hike in parking fees, introduction of congestion charges for entering specific areas and improving the public transport system.
The Government has already taken an in-principle decision to increase parking fees on the recommendation of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and the High Court-appointed Special Task Force.
It is also planning to significantly hike penalties on vehicles plying without prescribed emission norms, fitness certificates and Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates.
“Increasing vehicular population is a major challenge facing the city and we will have to take tough decisions to deal with it. The measures are being considered at the highest level,” a top official in Delhi Government said.
As per Government statistics, the city currently has over 65 lakh vehicles, up from 5.62 lakh in 1981.
The total number of vehicles in Delhi is more than the combined total of vehicles in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. On an average over 1,000 vehicles are added to the city roads every day.
The official, quoting a study said, said currently 11 per cent of total area in the city is being used for parking space and it was time to take some drastic steps to control number of vehicles.
The High Court-appointed Special Task Force, in its report in February, had also strongly recommended hiking the parking rates significantly.
Levying of hefty road tax, introduction of congestion charge and putting a high premium on parking were some of the measures the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) had suggested to the Delhi Government to check the growth of private vehicles and overcome the traffic mess in the city.
In a letter to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit last year, the CSE, citing examples of various cities including London, Stockholm and Tokyo, said experience from across the world showed that parking controls, parking pricing along with taxes top the list as first-generation car restraint measures.