The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed four major ideas to combat rising pollution and traffic levels in Mumbai, which known as the financial capital of India. Called the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP), this document was submitted to the Maharashtra government last month.
The CMP wants to consider the following methods to fight air pollution and traffic congestion due to vehicles,
1. Blanket ban of new car and bike registrations, after a specific deadline.
2. A yearly cap on the new car and bike registrations.
3. Making “proof of parking” certificates mandatory for new vehicle registrations.
4. Levy of a “congestion tax” in certain areas of Mumbai, with bans on vehicular traffic in certain zones.
However, implementing these measures will be only part of the CMP. The other part deals with improving public transport and mobility infrastructure of the city, which is said to be bursting at the seams. The plan estimates a cost of 1.55 lakh crore, spread out until 2034, for solving Mumbai’s mobility issues.
The CMP wants the following measures taken to improve public transport:
1. 34 exclusive bus lanes be established for public transport buses. This is aimed at increasing the speed and frequency of buses. New city bus terminals are also in the plan.
2. A dedicated metro network to be established.
3. 707 kilometers of existing roads to be widened by removal of encroachments, and linking roads to be established. 29 rail overbridges, 19 flyovers and 6 elevated roads are other proposed measures.
4. Parking charges to be levied on vehicles parked on public roads.
RC Bhargava, the Chairman of Maruti Suzuki isn’t happy with the proposal to completely ban registration of cars in Mumbai,
Congestion tax is a different thing, in certain areas if you bring in cars at certain time of the day… you pay extra cost, fair enough…but to tell me that you don’t run the car at all, that is a different story.
All said, the BMC’s CMP is more of a recommendation to the state government of Maharashtra, which will have the final authority on deciding what is accepted and what isn’t. Considering that most big cities of India are grappling with air pollution and traffic congestion issues, urgent and extreme measures may not be far fetched. Delhi has already set the tone, with the odd-even road rationing scheme, and the diesel car ban.