Fiscal instruments for low carbon transport in Chennai

This paper examines the feasibility of implementing a congestion tax for the city of Chennai in the State of Tamil Nadu. Based on secondary data, it calculates the time cost, fuel cost and cost of emissions due to congestion and makes recommendations regarding the effective design and application of such a tax. Chennai ranks one of the highest among
all South Asian cities in terms of GHG emissions as well emissions of other criteria pollutants, especially NOx and PM10. The city also suffers from heavy volumes of traffic and congestion, particularly on the arterial roads. Several proposals have been discussed by the Chennai Corporation, in the recent past, to tackle these twin problems of congestion and pollution. Some of the options that are being considered include congestion tax, electronic road pricing, and ramp metering. This study represents an attempt to analyse one such option by quantifying the costs of congestion for the city of Chennai and making recommendations regarding levying a per trip charge in heavily congested corridors of the city.