Nilekani supports congestion fee

Nilekani supports congestion fee

It’s astonishing that Bengaluru is the only city in the country which is not seeking a parking fee, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani has said.

“Every other city has it. We should in fact come out with a dynamic pricing-based policy such that the parking price changes within a day and every day depending on demand. A city like ours which depends only on property tax should instead begin to think of an alternative source of revenue from parking. A congestion fee is one of the suggestions that has been made for long,” he said at a seminar on urban policy organised by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements here on Thursday.

Nilekani, who unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election from Bengaluru South in 2014, said that the Karnataka government needed to have its own audit body auditing its finances and not wait for the CAG. “We need good balance sheets and a good audit of the City.”

The architect of Unique Identification Development Authority of India (UIDAI, the agency which issues Aadhaar cards, said that cities should urgently develop redundant capacity to deal with massive migration and increase in population within the next 20 years.
“The population is going to grow from 300 million to 800 million, especially in the urban context which will see plenty of migration. So, we need capacity to handle such a massive infusion of population into urban centres. We need inter-disciplinary solutions.

Collaboration between departments of the government, the private sector and civil society will be vital in maintaining a good quality of urban life. The plan to develop a 100 smart cities is good. But how can this be possible without the capacity to build them?”

Hundred views
Nilekani said there would be a hundred views on each problem and solution. “Yet, we have to work towards a single goal — a good life in urban India, because the people in the hinterland will be coming to cities.” Two other vital inputs in handling growth, he said, will be the use of technology and the role of finance.


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