For the average Delhiite, parking is a never-ending problem. Now, it has got aggravated thanks to an ongoing tussle between the MCD’s political and executive wings over the tendering of parking lots.
Delhi, which is already short on parking space, would have got an additional 125 surface parking lots had the executive wing called for tenders for the same. This would have created an additional space for 12,500 vehicles.
Presently there are around 110 surface parking lots that fall under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). These 110-odd parking lots can accommodate only 11,000 vehicles at any given point of time.
According to sources, the executive wing had decided to invite tenders for the 125-odd new parking lots. These tenders were floated with new terms and conditions in order to rein in errant contractors. However, the Delhi Mayor questioned this move of the Remunerative Project (RP) Cell as to why permission from both the MCD Standing Committee and House were not taken.
“How can they change the terms and conditions without taking the MCD House or Standing Committee’s permission? There is an official channel through which all such projects and schemes are cleared. They officers need to follow that. I have received representation from a number of quarters asking why the terms were changed,” said Mayor Rajni Abbi.
Sources added that all the parking lots whose tenders have not been called for are being run illegally by the parking mafia that has been fleecing people by overcharging them.
The civic agency had incorporated the new terms and conditions on the recommendation of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).
A statutory body formed after on the Supreme Court directions, EPCA monitors the progress of various steps taken by the government agencies and develops new policies to curb vehicular air pollution.
“The development appears to be a tacit move by the parking contractor mafia, who are apparently trying to thwart the new terms and conditions so as to run unauthorised parking lots in order to make money,” said a senior MCD official requesting anonymity.
Last month, the civic agency had received flak from the EPCA for not complying with the different conditions to regularise parking sites in the city.
During a meeting of the EPCA with various civic agencies, Bhure Lal, its chairperson had taken the MCD officials to task for showing laxity about demarcating the parking sites, introducing handheld parking ticket machines and installing boards displaying rates.