‘What will happen to the city if land mafia take over prime land’ | delhi | Hindustan Times
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‘What will happen to the city if land mafia take over prime land’

Bhure Lal is the chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority. Lal believes that strengthening the city’s public transport is the best way to tackle the problem of parking. Neelam Pandey in conversation.

delhi Updated: Apr 22, 2011 00:35 IST
Neelam Pandey

Bhure Lal is the chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority. Lal believes that strengthening the city’s public transport is the best way to tackle the problem of parking.

Illegal parking lots outnumber legal ones in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. Why haven’t they been converted into legal ones?

Running a parking lot is a lucrative business. The local police and civic authorities are in league and allow this mafia to operate. We have directed the police as well as civic agencies to carry out a survey and convert illegal parking lots into legal ones. This will end the harassment motorists face everyday.

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, including those for three-wheelers too.

Areas like Gurgaon and Noida are still growing and they too are plagued by the shortage of parking space. Why isn’t a policy being framed?

At policy level, we have held a number of meetings with the NCR planning board and have asked them to identify parking places in their areas. Once such spaces are identified, they will be converted into legal parking lots. The coming three months will see a lot of visible changes in the NCR.

The parking mafia has been encroaching upon the city’s prime public land in the garb of parking lots. Why has no action been taken against them yet?

We have constantly been directing the traffic police as well as civic authorities to take action against these people. Land is scarce and if we allow the land mafia to take over prime land, what will happen to the city?

What do you think could be the solution to this parking mess?

Strengthening public transport is the only answer. We need to discourage use of private vehicles by implementing stricter norms just like in London. But till then, we need to ensure that illegal parking lots are converted into legal ones, so that people can use them without being fleeced.