UT mulls over congestion tax again after rejection in 2010
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After the Municipal Corporation rejected the proposal to impose congestion tax in the city in 2010, the UT Administration is again mulling levying the tax, albeit this time, it is the Ministry of Urban Planning that has asked all the states to check its feasibility.
A meeting in this regard was held between the UT Administration and MCC officials on Wednesday to work out a broader frame to conduct surveys in the city for the imposition of yet another tax.
As per a letter sent by the Union Ministry of Urban Development to all the states and union territories, the authorities concerned have been asked to introduce congestion charges on private vehicles that can act as a deterrent for these vehicles from entering business areas and office complexes, in order to ease traffic congestion.
In a letter addressed to chief secretaries of all the states and UTs, the ministry has suggested that instructions should be issued to the authorities concerned in each state and UTs to identify the most congested areas in the respective cities to introduce the tax.
For the purpose, the UT administration has been planning to ask the transport department, Municipal Corporation and Chandigarh traffic police to conduct surveys on different aspects of traffic congestion and the charges that can be levied.
Sources in the UT Administration said that the ministry was looking at congestion charges as a prospective measure to solve the ever increasing traffic congestion problems in the states and union territories by adopting Transport Demand Management (TDM) strategies that required government investment in modes of public transport.
The letter further suggested that the authorities concerned in the states should first conduct surveys in order to gauge public opinion before introducing congestion charges.
In 2010, the proposal to consider imposition of congestion tax was unanimously opposed and rejected by all the councillors in one of the House Meetings of the Municipal Corporation. The House had even resolved that the UT Administration be requested to consider the proposal to construct parking lots at the entry point of the city where vehicles from outside could be parked and visitors be made to use public transport systems within the city.
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