For the residents of DDA flats, Munirka, every morning begins with an impatient wait and inevitable fights. Most of these fights begin because one person did not park his car properly or move his car in time for the other person to take his car out.
“If even one resident fails to turn up on time it becomes impossible to take out the car. Those who have to go to work in the morning have a tough time. Cars are piled up behind mine and it is a nightmare,” says SS Goel, a resident of C Block, Munirka.
When the DDA built these flats in 1975, the only parking provision it made was for a scooter with each flat.
“There is no space. We have asked the authorities to create additional parking plots but even they are helpless. The only solution is to restrict the number of cars per house,” says Y Mehra, an A Block resident.
With regular fights breaking out between residents over parking, it has become a policing issue. “We have encountered a number of fights over parking spots. Many times, the police has been called in to sort out differences,” says Mehra.
With no space to park vehicles, a number of colonies have converted the colony parks into parking lots, leaving no place for the children to play or the elderly to walk. “A plan was made to construct a parking block nearby but it didn’t take off,” says SN Sinha, an A Block resident. Many residents have to park their cars in other blocks.
“Every night, I have to park my car a kilometer away. Sometimes I even park on the road outside,” says Manju Rawat, a media professional who lives alone in Munirka.
‘We’ll pay, let MCD build it’
In Greater Kailash I, parking woes have taken on epidemic proportions. With most houses owning more than three cars, the posh area is highly congested. The residents are ready to share the responsibility of creating a parking space with the MCD, but the plan is yet to take off.
“We are ready to finance the building of parking lots. The civic authorities should hand over the project to us. We don’t want any high-tech solutions such as automated parking lots. A simple plan that accommodates the maximum number of vehicles is what we want,” says Rajiv Kakaria, a member of GK I RWA.
Some of the area’s residents are the city’s highest property taxpayers.
“We pay the second highest property taxes but are not given proper services. No parking lots have come up for the residents,” says VK Ahuja, a resident of S-Block, Greater Kailash I. Residents complain that all efforts to make parking lots are targeted at commercial areas alone.
“All the projects are coming up only in commercial areas. Residents all over Delhi will not benefit from any of these. The government levies tax upwards of Rs 3,000 on every new car as parking cess but where are the parking lots?” added Kakaria.
The residents of the area have also been protesting against the urinals-cum-coffee shops that have come up on plots in both the M-Block and N-Block markets that were earmarked for multi-level parking lots. “No one needs another coffee shop or urinal here. It is just eating into the parking space. These urinals take up the space of at least 50 cars,” said Rajesh Mahajan, a resident of the W-Block.