Is Delhi ready to pay for parking in residential areas?
According to transport minister Kailash Gahlot, this move will help decongest the capital.
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New Delhi residents may be in for a rude shock. A new policy on parking titled “Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Rules, 2017”, approved by lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal, is aimed at reducing the number of cars on the road in favour of public transport, may lead to people shelling out more money than they already do.
There may soon be a levy on parking of vehicles on designated streets and lanes in residential areas.
Hindustan Times reported that the policy is likely to be implemented in March and new parking rates for public and residential areas are likely to be finalised by July. At present the contents of the policy are available in the public domain and are open to comments and suggestions from the public, following which amendments may be made.
Once amended, the final rules will be notified by the transport department of the Delhi government, a senior transport department official told PTI.
A monitoring committee headed by Anshu Prakash, the chief secretary of Delhi — which will be advised by a Base Parking Fee (BPF) Committee — will be formed for implementation of the rules. The panel will chart out “Local Area Parking Plans” for both public and residential areas.
It will also include formulating parking charges, which the notification says will be done in coordination with Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs).
Why this move?
According to transport minister Kailash Gahlot, this move will help decongest Delhi, which has more than 10 million registered vehicles: “Illegal and badly organised parking has been one of the major reasons for clogged roads. If implemented well by the MCDs, the rules will be the first of their kind for any Indian city.”
A government official told Indian Express: “Parking in market areas during peak hours will get expensive. This is to ensure that shop owners do not park their cars on the street for the entire day, leaving no space for others. There is also a provision in the draft rules which states that long term off-street parking space for regular users are priced through monthly passes or tokens.”
The draft rules also state that those who have built stilt parking in their houses but park their vehicles on the streets would be penalised. For them, the rules state, “parking charges will be twice the normal charges fixed for other residents”.
According to reports, on-street parking for the first hour would be priced at least twice as much as off-street parking. It will increase exponentially with time to discourage long duration of on-street parking.
Are people up for it?
The rules have been shared on the transport department's website for feedback from Delhiites, so constructive criticism of the move from the public should be taken into consideration.
There are hurdles, and, expectedly, Delhiites have not taken kindly to the move. As per reports, RWAs in the capital have claimed that the provisions of the new draft parking policy proposing a fee for residential parking are not "feasible" and that they will object to them again.
An RWA federation president from east Delhi told DNA, "The provisions under point three of the policy says there will be enough room for pedestrians, hawkers and vehicles on the street, which is not possible, as the streets inside the colonies are not that wide. Also, it does not conform to the realities on the ground. In our suggestion to the government, we will tell them to frame a realistic policy."
Unless the policy itself hits a road block, Delhiites may end up burning a hole in their pockets.