Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday called for discouraging families from owning more cars, ensuring parking spaces before registering a car in metro cities, and for hiking parking fee in congested areas.
He also underlined the need for initiating a shift to clean fuels, retiring old polluting vehicles, strengthening mass transportation, and promoting use of electric vehicles.
He suggested a rule to make it mandatory for a one to show the certificate that he has parking space before registering his car.
Naidu mooted the proposals while inaugurating 10th Urban Mobility India (UMI) conference cum exhibition here.
The Vice President noted that it has become fashion even for small families to own more cars and called for discouraging the trend, cautioning that unless such steps were taken, it will be difficult to meet the challenge of easing congestion in cities and controlling the pollution.
“Many of the environmental challenges in the urban transport sector are rooted in its reliance on the non-renewable fossil fuel to propel private motor vehicles,” he said.
He said urged the planners and policymakers to decongest the cities by going for satellite towns, better public transport facilities, providing incentives for creating infrastructure, ensuring cycling tracks and pedestrian path and motivating people to change their lifestyle.
“A holistic and integrated approach to urban land use and transport planning and investment is needed if urban areas are to become socially, environmentally and economically sustainable,” he said.
He said the cities need to have smart leaders with vision, courage and conviction to raise revenues, remove encroachments and have some regulation.
Naidu said that the public transport is the need of the hour. “There is no other way. While private motorisation cannot be wished away completely, providing an affordable, comfortable, reliable and safe public transport can reduce the demand of private motorised vehicles.”
“High capacity public transport systems are needed to reduce the negative externalities like air and noise pollution, accidents and greenhouse gas emissions,” he added.
Naidu noted that Metro rail has seen a rapid growth in many cities with Delhi taking the lead.
“Metro is the flavour of the day. There is clamour for it but it’s not sufficient,” he said underlining the need for circular railway and electrical buses.
Naidu also stressed the need for ensuring last mile connectivity, integration between various modes of transport, integration of land use and transport planning, Transit Oriented Development (TOD), innovative financing and land value capture, and public private partnership.