The North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Wednesday approved a steep hike in the one-time parking fee, a move that will make cars expensive in Delhi.
The standing committee, the highest decision-making body of the civic body, however, did not approve a similar hike for auto-rickshaws, taxis, two-wheelers and e-rickshaws.
The resolution now awaits a final approval from the House of the North civic body before it is finally implemented. The matter will come up in the House in the end of this month.
Once approved, the move may be replicated by the south Delhi and east Delhi civic bodies too, sources said.
“The rise is essential to unclog the city’s gridlocked streets and curb pollution. The hike will act as deterrent and help reduce the rate at which vehicular population and pollution is rising in the city,” said Mohan Bharadwaj, standing committee chairman.
When implemented, the parking fee will raise prices of cars by at least Rs 8,000. The cost of high-end cars will go up by several lakhs (See box). It will also lead to an increase in the annual registration fee of commercial vehicles from the current ceiling of Rs 4,000 to about Rs 40,000.
“The municipal corporation has the authority to determine the rates of from time to time. The rates were revised last in 2004,” said a senior official.
In order to cushion any public outcry in view of the next civic polls, the political leaders of the north body said the Arvind Kejriwal government forced them to take the “tough” decision. “We had to resort to such measures due to the financial duress since the Arvind Kejriwal government has delayed releasing our funds,” said Bharadwaj.
The government, however, said the hike was avoidable. “There are various ways to increase revenue such as bringing more people under property tax net and ramping up ad revenues. But for the corrupt corporation officials, it would have meant a cut in their ‘personal revenue’,” said Delhi government official.
The opposition Congress criticised the hike. “Buying a car will now be out of reach of a common man, courtesy the BJP,” said Mukesh Goel, leader of opposition, north civic body.