Thursday, December 14, 2006

there is a small but nice write up on "why the Rs 1-lakh tata car is not good for India".

this cheap car (cost wise very very cheap @ 1 lakh rupees) can be a disaster for india's already congested roads and pedestrians.

india is not america. i live in bay area and although the traffic is bad, it is uniform and there is huge traffic discipline.

in dec 2005, when i was in india after 4 years, i could barely cross the road in chennai and bangalore.

bangalore seems to be full of cars and 2 wheelers 24 * 7. now add to the mixture the small car and our roads and road side greenery will be choking for space and air.

in 2006 budget when the finance minister decreased the tax on cars, i shot of a protest email to finance ministry official asking them not to cut tax but increase tax on cars. that mail is below. what can i say when the 1 lakh car becomes a reality :((

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mar 3, 2006 3:27 PM
Subject: Kind Attn Mr. P. Chidamabaran: Please withdraw the excise duty reduction on small cars ASAP
To:, ,,,
Cc: ,
Dear Mr. Chidambaram,
I am living in California for past 6 years and an Indian national.

This email is regarding the excise duty reduction that has been proposed in the budget.

To say the least, I am thoroughly disappointed in you slashing the excise duty on small cars from 24 to 16 percent.

Your intention may be noble but the effects can be disastrous for our already chocked city and urban area roads. If you visit Chennai or Bangalore (not in the air conditioned Government luxury car) by foot you will notice that you cannot even breathe the air that is dangerously polluted.

These cities are choking to death as 2 wheelers and cars occupy the entire space. Your measure will now fuel a small car revolution that will invade our already chocked city and urban areas. This will mean less walking space for pedestrians, huge increase in congestion, dangerous increase in air pollution and more traffic accidents as new vehicles fight for space.

I strongly urge you to withdraw this excise duty ASAP. I strongly request you to consider the following proposals.
1. Usage tax for each and every car that runs in our city roads or urban areas.
2. Mandatory smog and pollution clearance for vehicles over 6 years old (like they do in California, USA)
3. Tax rebate for hybrid cars (like they do in California, USA) so that the hybrid technology can take off like they have done in California.
4. Tax rebate for using Government services like public buses, metros, etc to encourage increased usage of this.
5. Parking tax for new buildings that come up in center of the urban areas.
6. Clean air tax for families that own more than 1 car.

If you notice private vehicles take over 90% of road space and in return contribute nothing. It is a criminal waste to see most of the cars having a single occupant and in turn occupying a huge space on our strained city roads.

I also want to bring to your 2 recent articles on this. They are,

Please act fast so that our children and grand children can at least breathe safely in our city and urban areas.


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