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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014
Cops, civic bodies in league with mafia
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
August 09, 2012
First Published: 00:45 IST(9/8/2012)
Last Updated: 00:47 IST(9/8/2012)

Bhure Lal is the chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority to suggest ways to decongest Delhi and NCR and reduce the pollution levels. All policies pertaining to parking are cleared by the committee. Lal believes that improving public transport is the best way to tackle parking problems.

Illegal parking lots outnumber legal ones in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. Why can't they be converted into legal ones?
Running a parking lot is a lucrative business. The police and civic authorities are in league with the mafia. The civic agencies have submitted recently a list of authorised parkings and we have asked the police to verify it. In case of any discrepancies, they will take action. There is plenty of vacant land on MG Road and HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon. We have asked the authorities to earmark space for parking lots.

NCR too is facing acute space shortage. Why isn't a policy being framed for them?
We have been talking to the NCR planning board and soon a number of spaces will be identified to be converted into legal parking lots.

The parking mafia has been over-charging motorists. They have also encroached upon prime land in the city. Why has no action been taken against them?
We have been writing to the civic bodies to take action against errant parking contractors. We had told them to introduce hand-held devices to ensure parking slips are not tampered with. The devices have been introduced in some areas. But we want them for the entire city.

What do you think can be the solution to this parking mess?
Improving public transport is the only answer. Use of private vehicles needs to be discouraged; we need to increase the surface parking charges too. At the same time, we must encourage people to use the multi-level parkings. But till then, we need to ensure that illegal parking lots are converted into legal ones, so that motorists are not fleeced.


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