Buying a car in Delhi is likely to get a lot costlier with the municipal bodies planning a steep hike in a one-time parking fee in a bid to unclog the city’s gridlocked streets and curb rampant pollution.
The plan if implemented would raise prices of two-wheelers by at least Rs 1,000 while costs of high-end cars would go up by several lakhs.
The civic agencies also intend to push the annual registration fee on commercial vehicles beyond the current ceiling of Rs 4,000 to about Rs 40,000, sources say.
Owning a car is a status symbol in Delhi, but its battered streets are struggling to deal with the influx of new vehicles every day while traffic jams and incidents of road rage are common and parking lots often turn into battlefields.
The proposal to raise the parking fee comes days after the Supreme Court ordered city authorities to impose an environmental tax on commercial vehicles entering the Capital, aiming to ease traffic and clear Delhi’s toxic air.
“The move is essential to create funds for the construction of modern parking facilities required to de-congest public places and bring orderliness in parking in the city,” said a senior civic official. “The hike will serve as a deterrent and hopefully reduce the rate at which vehicles are purchased in the city.”
Delhi has about 7.5 million cars with about 1,200 more being added every day, studies say.
While the move has been broached by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the civic bodies in the city’s east and south are also expected to follow suit. The plan would have to be approved by the municipalities’ elected members before being implemented.
Parking charges are levied and collected from commercial and non-commercial vehicles by the Delhi government’s transport department at the time of the registration of all new vehicles.
“The municipal corporation has the authority to determine the rates from time to time. The last time the rates were revised was in 2004 and it has been 11 years since then,” said a high- ranking official on condition of anonymity. “As the number of cars has increased tremendously over the past decade, the change in rate is necessary.”
Officials said the proposed parking rates would be based on the cost of a vehicle, with charges ranging from 2% to 15% of its value. Even currently exempted vehicles would have to pay the parking fee.
“Auto rickshaws will have to pay Rs 2,000, while a taxi would pay Rs 5,000 annually during its registration,” said a senior official. “A two-wheeler costing less than Rs 60,000 would have to pay Rs 1,000, while those priced above it would pay 2% of the vehicle cost.”
Cars priced above Rs 40 lakh would have to pay a 15% parking fee, or at least Rs 6 lakh.