Mumbai civic body proposes ban on new registration of vehicles

The Mumbai municipal corporation has proposed drastic measures to curb the use of cars in a bid to reduce air pollution.

The civic body's 'comprehensive mobility plan,' submitted last month to the state government, has suggested three options: a complete ban on new car and bike registrations, a ceiling on new registrations, and granting new registrations only after the buyer provides proof of the availability of parking space in his or her housing society.

The proposal also calls for a 'congestion tax' in some areas. The entry of vehicles would be banned in these areas and violators would be fined heavily. The civic body's plan also calls for establishing 34 exclusive bus lanes meant only for public transport.

Pollution levels in Mumbai, though not as bad as in New Delhi, have been increasing of late. A fire at a dumping ground in north-east Mumbai recently saw the air quality index deteriorate.

Mumbai's suburban railway services cater to the needs of nearly 7 million commuters daily. However, most of them travel in terrible conditions. Unlike metro trains, the suburban services are not air-conditioned. Overcrowding of compartments results in commuters having to cling dangerously on the footboards.

Every year, more than 3,500 commuters are killed in train accidents in the metropolis.