Decongesting Delhi: PWD wants more funds, cess on fuelhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/decongesting-delhi-pwd-wants-more-funds-cess-on-fuel/

Decongesting Delhi: PWD wants more funds, cess on fuel

The PWD has sent a proposal to the Ministry of Urban Development on decongesting Delhi and suggested measures such as additional financing for implementation of projects in the next five years.

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The department has stated how the total investment on the proposed corridors and tunnel projects to be taken up would be Rs 22,260 crore. (Source: Express photo)

The PWD has sent a proposal to the Ministry of Urban Development on decongesting Delhi in which it has suggested measures such as additional financing for implementation of projects in the next five years, introduction of additional cess on petrol or diesel in Delhi or a pollution tax on vehicles more than 10 years old, among others.

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The department has stated how the total investment on the proposed corridors and tunnel projects to be taken up would be Rs 22,260 crore. “Since this is a huge investment, it requires prioritisation of projects; Rs 5,000 crore would be required to be invested each year on new corridors and tunnel projects as proposed in the report earlier,” the report states.

”As is the prevailing trend, the government of Delhi provides a budgetary support of around Rs 1,500 crore for new elevated corridor projects per year to the PWD. Therefore, PWD would require an additional budget of Rs 3,500 crore per year,” it says.

This shortfall can be met by measures such as an additional cess on petrol/diesel in Delhi or a pollution tax on vehicles more than 10 years old, the note says.

Additionally, the department has suggested that to execute projects of Rs 5,000 crore each year, the flyovers team of the PWD would have to be “augmented”. “This would require creation of two more zones each headed by a Chief Engineer level officer,” the report states.

For long-term technical capacity enhancement, the PWD has suggested that its engineers undergo training courses and study tours to developed countries with support from the Government of India to fast track capacity building for engineers.

The note points out that PWD flyovers and elevated corridor projects have been hampered by consistent delays in shifting of utilities by utility owners despite the matters being taken up at the highest levels. For implementation of the proposals on decongestion of Delhi, “it is suggested that a standing committee of the CEOs of the utility owning agencies be formed”.

78 lakh vehicles for 23% commuters

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The committee chaired by the secretary, urban development, along with 19 ministries, submitted a report on decongesting Delhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year. The report details a nine-point agenda. The report says the modal share of Delhi shows that only 25 per cent of the city uses private vehicles as a mode of transport whereas the rest use public transport or non-motorised transport. “However, as encouraging as this is, the city infrastructure is still not adequate to handle the load and is groaning under the requirement. Of the 82 lakh vehicles that ply on city roads, approximately 78 lakh are private vehicles. This contributes to only 23 per cent users,” the report said.