Chandigarh Municipal Corporation proposes street charges for owners of cars, commercial vehicles

Hina Rohtaki
Street charges would be one-time charges for the private car owners and yearly/annual charges for the commercial vehicle owners.

THE CHANDIGARH Municipal Corporation has mooted street charges for owners of cars and other commercial vehicles in Chandigarh. This will be done on the pattern of Delhi government. Officials state that street charges are given to the Municipal Corporation for creating and maintaining the parking infrastructure in the city and are different from congestion or neighbourhood parking charge.

An agenda item is being drafted which will be taken up for discussion in the house meeting of August. Street charges would be one-time charges for the private car owners and yearly/annual charges for the commercial vehicle owners. Special Commissioner Sanjay Jha told Chandigarh Newsline that they have examined the concept which is prevalent in Delhi. We will bring this agenda for discussion in the general house. Certain categories of vehicle owners will be exempted in this so that it doesn t pinch the pocket of the poor, the Special Commissioner said.

According to the proposal, every new car that is registered in the city will have to pay this one-time street charge at the time of registration and the charges will go to the Municipal Corporation. Owners of commercial vehicles will have to pay these charges on a yearly basis to the Municipal Corporation.

The charges will vary from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh and above depending upon the price of cars. As of now only one to two per cent of the actual car price is mooted. However, owners of two-wheelers, three-wheelers, government vehicles and buses of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking will be exempted from paying these street charges. These charges will also help the civic body in revenue generation.

Another motive is that these charges will discourage people from buying cars. In one house, there are five cars for five members and city at the moment is bursting at the seams with personal cars, the Special Commissioner said.

In Chandigarh, the vehicle registration in the city has seen a manifold increase. In 2018, from January 1 to December 31, the city saw a registration of 45,278 vehicles, including 28,132 two-wheelers and 16,999 four-wheelers, with the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA). It meant Chandigarh witnessed an addition of 124 vehicles per day last year. In 2001, the number of cars in the city stood at 7,643.

From 2000 to 2017, 6,72,113 vehicles were added to the city which has a population of 10.55 lakh as per the 2011 census. More than 86 per cent of households own at least one car or two-wheeler. At present, public transport makes for only 16 per cent of total motorised person trips which is much lower than that what is recommended in the National Urban Transport Policy.

For Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the collection will be done by the Registering and Licensing authority (RLA) and be handed over to the civic body. As regards Delhi, the transport department collects it and gives it to the Municipal Corporation. The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation manages all parking lots in the city and bears the infrastructure cost. At present, these parking lots are being run by civic officials as the agreement with the company managing them was terminated. There are 26 parking lots and an increase of parking lots up to 99 has been recommended now.