Chennai

Motorists may have to pay congestion tax soon

solution in sight:Traffic congestion in T. Nagar (above), George Town, Nungambakkam, Adyar and Anna Nagar is likely to reduce after the congestion charge is imposed on vehicles —Photo: M. Vedhan  

Owners of private vehicles may soon have to pay a charge to gain entry into congested areas in the city.

The charge for ‘congestion zones’ demarcated by civic bodies in the Chennai Metropolitan Area will be fixed by the government.

Two years after the Chennai Corporation Council approved a study to find solutions to ease traffic chaos on city roads, the civic body will start work on demarcating zones for congestion tax.

At a meeting on Thursday, engineers of the Corporation, members of NGOs and other planning agencies focused on emulating the London model of congestion tax to tackle traffic jams.

Clogging on roads in congested areas such as T. Nagar, George Town, Nungambakkam, Adyar and Anna Nagar is likely to reduce after the congestion tax is imposed on vehicles, said officials.

The civic body, with assistance from the traffic police, planning agencies and NGOs, will study the number of passenger car units in each congested area before finalising the congestion charge zones.

Vehicles likely to be exempted from congestion tax include autorickshaws, taxis, motorcycles, ambulances and buses. Private cars, however, will have to pay charges for entry on a daily basis.

In 2013, an array of traffic control solutions such as congestion pricing, bus rapid transit system, bicycle-sharing and inter-modal integration were recommended by Corporation engineers, based on such models in cities in the United Kingdom, China and Singapore.

A team of seven Corporation engineers had also visited China, Hong Kong and Singapore to study the traffic solutions adopted in these cities.

Once the government gives its nod, a few of the 471 bus routes and 33,000 interior roads are likely to be covered under congestion pricing.

“Congestion pricing has been successful in cities such as London. Chennai needs a similar model with some modifications,” said an official of the Chennai Corporation.

In the 1960s, London introduced congestion pricing. Though the move was opposed at first, the civic body there finally managed to implement it. “Such efforts require political will on the government’s part,” said a traffic planner.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 9:54:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/motorists-may-have-to-pay-congestion-tax-soon/article7111215.ece

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