CHENNAI: The State government will levy a road safety tax on new automobiles from August 1 during registration. For two-wheelers this will be Rs. 250, for cars Rs. 1,500 and lorries Rs.2,000, K. N. Nehru, Transport Minister, told the Assembly on Wednesday.
He was concluding the debate on the demand for grants to the Transport Department and the Home, Prohibition and Excise Department (Motor Vehicles Acts-administration).
Pointing out that an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 10,000 is given in the event of death or disablement caused by road accidents, the Minister said the government wanted to raise it.
The Minister said an amount of Rs. 8 crore was provided for in the Chief Minister’s Accident Relief Fund this year for the purpose.
Policy on mini-buses
Announcing that the State government would bring out a comprehensive mini-bus policy within 15 days and issue 3,500 permits, Mr. Nehru said 4,160 mini-buses were plying under the existing scheme for them.
At the time of the launch of the scheme (in the 1990s), it was decided that permits would be given for 7,500 vehicles. The modifications made by the government were challenged in the High Court. Now with the resolution of the legal issues, it was found that only 232 routes could be covered. So Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi directed that a new policy be formulated. Under the proposed policy the remaining 3,500 permits would be issued, Mr. Nehru said.
The issue of driving licences and registration certificates under the smart card system, now followed in the Regional Transport Offices of Chennai South, Sivaganga and Cuddalore, would be extended to other parts this year.
Explaining how the government had improved the working of the State Transport Corporations, the Minister said that compared to 2005-2006, their daily revenue in the last three years had been on the rise. For buses, the fare structure determined during the previous All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime was being followed. On the fare reduction effected for a few days prior to the Lok Sabha election, he said that depending on the situation, Managing Directors of corporations were empowered to levy ordinary fares.