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The state government of Karnataka is considering implementation of a ban on all new vehicle registrations in the city of Bangalore. Banning all new vehicle registrations for a couple of years is one of the solutions to beat traffic and pollution woes according to Karnataka's Deputy Chief Minister, G Parameshwara.
Pollution levels in metropolitan cities is at its highest yet, and so is traffic. The pollution levels in Delhi went to a higher level this year with the Central Pollution Control Board declaring the air quality index to be at the hazardous level. The government had even planned banning the use of private cars on Delhi roads.
The city of Bangalore isn't far behind when it comes to pollution and traffic levels. Owing to the presence of a large number of trees and plants, the air quality levels are still manageable.
This however, would not last for a long time as the number of vehicles on the road is just increasing with every passing day. This is also leading to severe traffic problems. Many households use more than one four-wheeler even if there is no parking space and this further leads to more congestion.
The state government and the authorities in-charge of Bangalore city have been considering implementation of various measures in order to tackle all these problems. However, the proposal to ban registration of new vehicles in bangalore has left citizens and activists perplexed. Many are even terming the move as a knee-jerk reaction to an impending crisis.
The Deputy Chief Minister, Dr G Parameshwara though said that the temporary ban on registration of new vehicles is just a thought at the moment and the government will consider other alternatives as well.
In June 2018, the Bangalore Transport Department had first proposed to ban registrations of new vehicles, but only if the buyer does not have a designated parking space. The government seems to be trying to urge people to start using public transport and carpooling.
It is for the very same reason that the government is also buying electric buses, so that public transport will be more efficient and have little or no pollution.
Is Banning New Vehicle Registrations Really The Solution?
When all alternatives are considered, implementing a temporary ban on new vehicles is far from the solution and this is why:
New Vehicles Are Less Polluting
Stricter emissions norms have been implemented, and this has led to the introduction of cleaner and greener vehicles. If the government is looking at banning private vehicles to curb pollution, then it is the older vehicles that need to be banned. This applies specifically to diesel vehicles that are more than 15-years-old.
Inadequate Public Transportation
All buses being used by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation are currently powered by diesel engines. These engines are pretty large in displacement and emit a lot of pollution. The public usage of electric buses was supposed to start in October 2018, but there are no signs of it yet.
Low Metro Rail Reach
The Metro Railway is being considered as one of the ways to reduce pollution and traffic at the same time. It is effective to a certain extent and will remain there until new routes are opened. There are many routes under construction and it is the construction process that needs to be sped up.
Thoughts On Banning Registration Of New Vehicles In Bangalore
Solving the problems of traffic and pollution in Bangalore is not as simple as banning new vehicle registrations. It would in-turn have bad repercussions. The state government and city authorities should instead look into solving issues of public transport and increase the reach of metro rail.
A more efficient and convenient public transport system would automatically influence more people to leave their cars at home and take the bus or metro rail.