Update: A witty, thought-provoking cartoon on congestion, & compelling facts: here
Center for Science & Environment says no all cars and puts up a strong case for public transport (buses), while the rest of India remains fixated on Nano. Apart from the fact that cars pollute way more than buses on a per passenger basis, its press note underscores two important points:
1) Cars consume too much road space to be able to satisfy India's transportation needs without painfully long gridlocks.
2) The cost of cars would be much higher if the govt were not to pamper them with heavy subsidies/tax benefits. The same holds for the "low-taxed diesel fuel in cars that emit deadly toxins".
This reminds me of a recent The Hindu (Bangalore) article, mentioning that HOHO, one of the two bus services launched by the BMTC last month (following ABIDe's recommendations) to improve public transport, has found few takers. The reason, as per traffic expert Prof Srihari, is that in posh areas like MG Road which HOHO covers, people are reluctant to give up their cars and travel by bus! This shows that, contrary to the popular notion, the problem lies more in our unwillingness to change, and increasingly less in the quality of the bus service provided.
It' high time we embrace BCW [Bus, Cycle, Walk] - green modes of transport - as the in thing, and resort to auto rickshaws & private vehicles as rarely as possible!
PS: Those of us, concerned about the higher travel time associated with buses, should note that with a mass adoption of buses and the consequent reduction in cars & autos, the waiting and journey time linked to buses will drastically come down, due to congestion-free roads.