The government has identified a tax revenue stream in rising property prices along Metro rail corridors in Indian cities. After initiating a study to encourage transit oriented development (TOD) in the national capital,the Union Urban Development Ministry plans to make this component mandatory for new Metro projects elsewhere in the country.
The ministry anticipates proposals for Metro projects from 34 cities with populations of over 1 million. Officials in the ministry said higher taxes would help keep the projects financially viable.
The government is currently supporting the preparation of detailed project reports (DPR) for Metro networks in 19 cities with populations of over 2 million.
Under TOD,the government proposes to promote highrises along Metro corridors,and to make areas within 500 metres as densely populated as possible. It also proposes to raise the tax on residents of areas close to the lines.
If prices of properties near Metro lines go up,the consumer should share it with the government as well. We are making efforts to make it a mandatory component before sanctioning new Metro projects, a senior ministry official said.
Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath has been advocating the implementation of transit oriented development in cities as a model of revenue generation.
Officials said the first phase of the Chennai Metro project was going to be operational by March 2014,and they had inquired after the progress of TOD.
Eventually the collection of tax or increased circle rates will have to be implemented by the municipal corporation. They will be the ones monitoring it and they have to be included in all plans right from the conceptual stage. This is why a collaborative approach between Metro officials and municipal corporations is required, the official said.
He added that the Rajasthan government which is funding the Jaipur Metro project has already implemented increased property tax and circle rates in areas close to metro lines.
We have to think of ways to keep our projects financially viable,as we also have to repay the loans taken from international agencies, the official said.