Nightmare at Nehru Place | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Nightmare at Nehru Place

Shikha Kaushal gets uncomfortable at the thought of going to Nehru Place for a simple reason. The market is always congested, with vehicles spilling over from various parking lots, making parking a daily nightmare.

delhi Updated: Jan 05, 2009 00:20 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Shikha Kaushal gets uncomfortable at the thought of going to Nehru Place for a simple reason. The market is always congested, with vehicles spilling over from various parking lots, making parking a daily nightmare.

"Earlier I used to drive myself, now I take my husband's driver along. Otherwise finding a place to park and then, getting out is a task in itself," said Kaushal, a Chartered Accountant and a regular visitor to Nehru Place.

In a recent major crackdown against vehicles parked in an unauthorised way, the Delhi Traffic Police prosecuted more than 1,000 vehicles. But such drives have hardly helped, as the problem is more than what meets the eye.

More than three decades after it became functional, Nehru Place—witnessing inflow of more than 35,000 vehicles daily—is mired in perennial parking trouble. This is especially surprising because the entire central business district was declared a ‘Zero Tolerance Zone’ in 2002 by a Central Steering Committee.

"This is north India's largest trading hub for all things IT-related—software and hardware. It is sad to see authorities apathetic towards a problem so grave," said Anil Sehgal, President of Nehru Place Improvement and Welfare Association.

Delhi Traffic Police claim they regularly take action against vehicles parked illegally. "We have been regularly prosecuting for unauthorised parking and will continue to do so in the future. But sooner the parking facilities increase the better," said DCP Traffic (Southern Range) Rupinder Kumar.

Existing infrastructure
Nehru Place has five-storied, eight-storied and 19-storied buildings with at least 1,000 shops, apart from a few shops and godowns in basements.

The several official parking spots here—17 DDA parking units, MCD parking on roads and a multi-level parking (Eros)—together accommodate only about 1800 cars, 750 two-wheelers and about 100 bicycles, way below the requirement.

What's more, even when parking spaces on ground level are full, the Eros multi-level parking remains highly under-utilised, because of high parking charges.

Is there a solution?
A new permanent parking lot is proposed near the MTNL building in the complex and till the time it comes up, a temporary parking is in the pipeline. "The DDA vice chairperson has given the nod in principle. But apparently the file is being held back for “evaluation,” said sources.

However, a DDA spokesperson said, "Proposals for both parkings are under consideration."

All of DDA's parkings are within the tower complex but it is the MCD, which is giving permission to set up parking lots on the road. "Moreover, only one contractor is running all these parking lots under different names, obviously in connivance with authorities," add sources.