Saturday, May 29, 2010

Increase In Road Tax On Two-Wheelers Purchased In Delhi Is not Well Thoughht Decision

Delhi Government recently decided to increase the road tax on the vehicles registered in Delhi. As per the plan the rate for cars, priced up to Rs.6 Lakh is doubled to 4%, for cars between Rs.6 Lakh and Rs.10 Lakh it is upto 7%, while for cars costing Rs.10 Lakh road tax is 10%. It is very high when compared to existing 2% of the vehicle value but I still believe it is the right step taken (with wrong thought process though). What concerns me more is that the road tax percentage for two wheelers has been increased to upto 6%. As per the plan prepared by Delhi Govt. (Pay attention Ms. Dixit) two-wheelers costing up to Rs.25,000 will be charged the existing 2%, while those costing between Rs.25,000 and Rs.40,000 will now attract 4% and those above Rs.40,000 will be charged 6%. I am just curious how many two-wheelers in Delhi today are available for Rs.25,000 or Less. Do you remember Luna (or Loon Naaa), even Luna costs Rs.25,000. Thus what essentially Delhi Govt. has done is increased the road tax rate for practically all the vehicles.

In Ms. Dixit's view the step will discourage the use of private vehicles. So if the road tax is increased there will be reduction in the purchase of vehicles thus lesser traffic. Well by this logic raise the food prices there will be lesser obesity (oops did I trigger another price rise?). They work on the concept of "Discourage use of private vehicles" while the concept should be "Encourage use of public transport". Provide a better public transport and people will automatically leave their cars behind. I have earlier also written about the same subject and today after I have spent a lot of time thinking, still stand for this logic. God please forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Delhi Traffic Police goes social with Twitter and Facebook accounts

When I joined Twitter and started following people apart from my colleagues, friends and some industry leaders I searched for the concerned authorities in various departments, especially Delhi Traffic Police (DTP) and the road and transport ministry. But I was unable to find someone. Online is very a good medium to connect with the people who are concerned. Then I read about Delhi Traffic Police initiative in the newspaper and was happy to know that the department is looking to come closer to the people who wish to contribute. The only problem was the newspaper did not tell the URL for the traffic police profiles on the social media. I thought of searching it twitter/Facebook. Twitter was no luck but I could find Facebook page for DTP (that is one of the reason for me to write this post).

Click here for Delhi Traffic Police facebook profile. Through Facebook(FB) they plan to provide information about new plans, initiatives and challenges, and also make the users aware about the traffic situation in the city besides seeking suggestions, reactions and views from citizens. At the time of writing this blog the count of the people who liked DTP Facebook page was 1,231. People are posting a lot of queries and suggestions on the wall of the page and also being amazed by the fast response from Traffic department. I saw their responses till as late as 10:00 PM in the night (on the day I joined their FB page). Some critical information like the URL of DTP suggestion page on DTP site, Contact Email ID and the call-center phone numbers were missing from the info tab of the FB page. Another thing that I found here (FB page) is links to other social media profiles (twitter) missing. Photos tab show the photos of DTP personnel in action (also the image of TSR complaint campaigne). In the discussion forum they have displayed four topics including 'Delhi Tourist Police', 'Guidelines for Foreigners Visiting Delhi', 'Traffic Management during Commonwealth Games' and 'Safe Pedestrian Drive by Delhi Traffic Police'. Hope to see a lot more topics there. There is an additional tab called "Boxes" which carries all the links shared on this page. I sincerely hope to see a sea change starting with this initiative.

Though hunt for DTP twitter handler did not return any thing on tweeter search a status update on FB worked for me. I asked about the tweeter handler on FB and a page fan (sorry I still call it "Fan" and not "Like") replied back with Twitter ID for DTP. The ID is @dtptraffic. DTP says that through twitter the plan is to provide real-time updates of any traffic snags due to events, processions, rallies, road congestion, accidents etc. The History tells it started on 14th May, already has 254 followers and tweets an average of 5 tweets a day. People are interacting with DTP and in some cases are actually being creatively funny. For an instance on 3:10pm, May 19 @libinmb tweets "Beware delhi police in twitter @dtptraffic to controle the twitt traffic:)". The expectations from the social profiles of DTP are very clear from all the posts and updates. These are i) More and more updates (@rohitdass updates "at this rate of 6 hourly updates there would hardly be any use of them updates") ii) Platform to get evaluate and implement suggestions and iii) Provide the details about lesser known traffic laws.

At the end I would say it is really heartening to have our Delhi Traffic Police come up an age and embrace the Mediums of today's generation to communicate with them and being open to take all those bouquets and brickbats. All we need to see now is how far they go with it because the opportunities and options are unlimited.

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