Shoppers will continue to enjoy free parking facility in the Capital's upmarket shopping destination Khan Market. The Delhi high court on Friday effectively put on the backburner New Delhi Municipal Council's decision to invite tenders for paid parking in the area.
While rejecting Khan Market Trader Association's plea against imposition of parking fee of R5.34 lakh for the parking area, the high court said shoppers visiting the market would continue to park their vehicles for free.
Justice S Muralidhar gave the association "one last opportunity up to 5pm on June 6" to pay Rs 5.34 lakh monthly as licence fee to the civic agency. The court declined the association's plea that the projected monthly licence fee is on the higher side.
"If the association does not convey its willingness by 5pm on June 6, the status quo order passed by this court on April 8 will automatically stand vacated," the court said, adding the NDMC's decision was not arbitrary, irrational and unreasonable.
There are about 345 shops in Khan Market and the members have been using free parking facility since 1950, managing it by employing 25 attendants in the parking lot.
The court's order will put a financial burden of Rs 1,565 a month on each trader/shop owner.
Market association president Sanjeev Mehra welcomed the high court order. "It's a win-win situation for us. We agree to pay the licence fee to the NDMC. Our customers would continue to park in the market area for free," Mehra told Hindustan Times.
The market association had moved the court against NDMC's decision to stop the free parking facility in Khan Market and introduce paid parking by inviting tenders.
The court noted that given the profile of those visiting Khan Market, which is doubtless a much sought after destination in the heart of the city, the payment of a modest parking fee at rates comparable to the parking rates in other commercial centres in the area including Connaught Place could not cause inconvenience to either the general public or the association.
The high court also noted that it is expected that NDMC would expedite the steps to have a multi-level parking facility in the vicinity of Khan Market at the earliest to ease traffic congestion in the area.