While the auto world goes wah-wah over the Nano and every new car released in the market, neither Ratan Tata nor any “expert” has yet explained how our roads and streets can cope with such a constant, relentless and unceasing vehicular influx.
The chattering classes blithely speak of having paid their taxes. Id est, it is the government’s duty, having collected the money, to build the required “infrastructure”. But in our poorly planned and designed cities, what is the solution to keep congestion at bay?
On the CNN-IBN show Devil’s Advocate, Karan Thapar spoke to Sunita Narain, the director of the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment:
Thapar: Would you say a second important step is to charge realistic fees for parking? For instance, in Washington parking for a day costs $15, it is $30 in New York and Rs 10 in Delhi.
Narain: It is always amazing for me that we are allowing cars to come in without any regulations. Just think we go hunting for office space, we need a desk and we know how expensive it is to get that desk space. And yet the car uses 23 sq m of space—23 sq m of space! Just to give you a comparison a jhuggi, a slum-dweller’s house, takes 15 sq m of space. So tell me why is it that we are not charging for that parking at the rates of real estate?
Thapar: CSE suggested a few years ago that parking fees in Delhi should be increased to at least Rs 120 a day. Is that you something you stand by?
Narain: We basically calculated the cost of providing that parking and if you look at the multi-level parking lots that are coming up as an alternative you essentially find that to recover the cost you really need to pay Rs 30 an hour. So we tried to give a sort of slight subsidy to urban dwellers and suggested Rs 120 a day. But we know how difficult it is to get something like that? The car moves less than 10 percent of the people (but) it occupies 70 percent of the road space.
Read the full text here: ‘Ratan Tata will be a hero if he made a bus like Nano‘
Sir Mark Tully: It will be a disaster if India progresses like West
I will save paying 120 bucks by refusing to use the car. Problem saaalved.
Rs. 120/- for a day is very less compared to other major cities. For instance in tokyo parking cost you 100 yen (Rs. 38/- approx) for an hour
Give me public transport of the kind that is in Washington and New York and I’ll sell my car.
Sunita Narain has been talking up these extreme measures ever since nano was launched. Make everbody use the public transport since cars take too much of space and carry too few is her argument. But we have neither a reliable public transport nor a communist regime that forces people to do things against their wishes so why exactly would people get into that bus if it ever shows up and its humanly possible to get into it? Rs. 120 a day is exhorbitant from an Indian perspective, she keeps advocating things like “tax them like crazy” again since nano was launched and this idea of making parking expensive is an extension of that argument. I cannot support this idea unless better and viable alternatives are provided.
Apparently you have not read what Sunita Narain said in the interview. What you say, exactly matches what she says… Read below:
Karan Thapar: Absolutely. What you are therefore suggesting is a two-fold strategy: on the one hand you are saying discourage the use of cars and thus take them off the roads without banning them and instead encourage people by giving them incentives to use public transport.
The problem is that you can only do the two together; you cannot do them one after another. At the moment today public transport is neither reliable, nor is it extensive, for some it is not affordable and certainly it is not efficient. How does the government give us the sort of public transport we need so that we would be incentivized to take the bus or the metro rather than want a car?
Sunita Narain: If I can just be very blunt about this: by stop talking about it and by doing something on it. Let us be very clear we are talking about a transition, we are not talking about adding a few buses to Delhi’s roads. We are talking about a transition of a scale that has never been done in the world.
Karan Thapar: You say act, don’t talk but what is the action that is needed beyond the simple answer of throwing more money at the problem? What are the specific steps?
Sunita Narain: Three things. Get your taxes right, today the car pays less tax than the bus and it should be the other way round. The bus is much more fuel efficient, it uses less space, it is much better for the environment and it provides mobility to a large number of people.
Second, you restructure your bus agencies. Your biggest challenge today is that your bus agencies are inefficient. Focus on it, spend money on it, spend time on it.
Third, let the politicians believe this is the big-ticket answer for India. It is not the aam aadmi (common man) who will drive the car, the aam aadmi will be most benefited when you improve public transport.
When you bath & wash your clothes, the detergent generates Rs 5/- worth fo eco-waste. So levy Rs 5/- tax on all those bath & wash clothes.
BTW, 2 questions:
1. what car does she drive?
2. How much more pollution would Nano cause than a 2 wheeler?
did sunita narain come to this interview in a public bus?
“Apparently you have not read what Sunita Narain said in the interview. What you say, exactly matches what she says… Read below:”
Not Really. She advocates taxing the cars more, directly or indirectly. I don’t, unless viable alternatives are present and then only if neccessary.
“…neither Ratan Tata nor any “expert” has yet explained how our roads and streets can cope…”
Really?? Are they in the business of providing/building the infrastructure? Where is the Goverment?
Ratan Tata does what he knows best – Make products. Don’t blame our industrialists for everything from our (lack of)infrasctructure to badly maintained public toilets!
You all talk and worry about how the infrastructure will cope with the increase in the number of vehicles but no one talks about the number one burden on the infrastructure which is our population. We reproduce like rats but no one here seems to care about it!! You all are scrambling to treat the symptom and not the cause!!
thats correct KK, we breed faster than jack rabbits. Watch closely how none of the wise guys, politicos never talk about the population issue. The reason being it suits their interests. More the people more the votes, lesser the literacy rate even the better. We are 1/3 the size of US and have four times its population. Our forest land is evoparating at a much faster rate than the amazon jungle. There is a big strain on our natural resources .We already have a big gap between the haves and the have nots which will further increase in the future. The nation cannot provide jobs for all of its youth. This inturn will lead to a frustrated populace which will further get polarised on the basis of caste, creed, region, religion, language (which the politicians will be more than eager to exploit) and ultimately lead to anarchy. You could call me a doomsday preacher or paranoid but thats how I see it.
Bang on target.
Maybe we should put someone with the energy and media savvy of Ms. Narain , in charge of population control.
KK, VP, Anonymous Guy,
We have a typically Indian solution for population control – Female Infanticide and sex selection…. So don’t worry about the population.
Goldstar..you don’t need to worry about us either with your lousy comments!!
There are places in Bangalore which are charging that kind of parking fees already!!! For instance the Mother of all tech parks, ITPL, charges Rs.10 per hour for parking. Even for two wheelers, they are quite expensive, Rs.5 per hour. So for someone who parks the car/bikethere from 8 to 8, it amounts to Rs.120/Rs.60!!! Prestige Meridien on M G Road, charges 20 per hour, I think.
Our malls are no different. Parking fee is crazy there too. The minimum parking fee starts from Rs.20 and goes up all the way to Rs.100 and more, depending on the time the car is parked.
There will come a time when it becomes more expensive to park the car than it takes to drive!!!
Anonymous guy and Anonymous are 2 different posters :)
If you didnt notice, I dont have anything bad to say about Ms. Narain.
Though I like Nicole Narain better :)
120 Rs per day is like paying more for parking than for fuel. If Sunita insists on such steep parking fees no one will park the car and instead keep driving!!! Wont it cause pollution and congestion , because people will never park car and keep driving to avoid parking fees
YArAdru osi heLibuDi buddhi!!!!
For a Great analysis on a future scenario with Nano and Parking Fee read
“no one will park the car instead keep driving!!!”
that was a good one I just could not control my laughter :-)
Thanks Vitlan read car-baar too. Which is basically an extension of that idea
thanks Narayana just read that :-)