Tata's dream could be a nightmare for traffic, says Dr Pachauri

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New Delhi, Jan 10: The launch of the Rs one lakh ''dream car'' of Tata was today received with great scepticism by Dr R K Pachauri, head of the UN body on climate change, which this year shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice president Al Gore.

''This is not the transport option for the country of a billion people many of whom cannot afford to buy even a bus ticket,'' said Dr Pachauri, who is also Director General of the Energy Resource Institute(TRI).This car was not going to drive away two wheelers from the road, as has not happened in case of Maruti 800 too, he said He, however, sought to clarify that he had nothing personally against the car but against its usage, and demanded more user charges and taxation on cars.

''I am not blaming the manufacturer for it, but would certainly say that they should better concentrate on investing in public transport,'' Dr Pachauri said talking to newsmen after announcing dates of the 8th Delhi Sustainable Summit, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on February 7. The summit is organised by TERI.

Christened 'Tata Nano', the eagerly awaited 624 cc (33 horse power) car was launched by Tata Motors, the country's largest automobile manufacturer, at the 9th Auto Expo, 2008 here.

Replying to a question, he said it would be wrong to think that the Tata car would be a substitute for two wheelers. It would be just a add on to the chaotic traffic conditions. Dr Pachauri blamed the policy makers for the increasing road congestions in the Indian cities and towns, and said users of cars should be made to pay for the road space they were using.

Dr Pachauri said the problem of traffic congestion in big cities like Delhi could be solved by right mix of policies. Giving an example of central London, he said the imposition of heavy user charge on those entering that part of the city had yielded result, so there was no reason that similar measures in Delhi should fail. He said all the measures taken for reducing pollution in the capital had been neutralised by the heavy increase in the number of cars.

Stressing that there should be a different tax structure for big luxury cars and small cars, he said he had spoken to the Finance Minister to impress upon him the urgency of the measure. He called up the corporate world to come with sustainable solution for transport.

In fact that is one of the themes at the the Delhi Sustainable Summit, whose focus this year would be climate change, he added.

''Climate change was directly related to sustainability of development, and it was more than obvious that the path of development we are treading today was not sustainable, and the climate change would in turn increase the cost of development,'' he said.

All these issues be taken up for threadbare discussion at the summit, which was the first on climate change after the Bali declaration, he said.

UNI

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