Shopping in busy market areas is already a nightmare with people jostling for space, but imagine having to run around in circles trying to find a spot to park your vehicle. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials are now saying that as per traffic police recommendations, surface parking will soon be prohibited in market areas like South Extension I and II, Alaknanda Market; BK Dutta Market, Rajouri Garden; Paschim Vihar, Tagore Market, Shastri Park, Karol Bagh, Ramlila Ground and Daryaganj among others.
Delhi Traffic Police had raised objections to nearly 89 parking lots out of the 251 that the civic body had submitted for inspection. The civic body is contending that such a move would encourage illegal parking in the areas.
“We don’t agree with many of their recommendations and would be raising the issue with the traffic police. We had started surface parking in many areas to contain illegal operators from running unauthorised parking lots. We have already stopped parking in service lanes and internal roads in residential colonies. If we now disallow surface parking, it would make matters worse. Where are the shoppers going to park their vehicles?” said a senior MCD official.
Traders, too, are unhappy with the traffic police’s recommendations and are planning to oppose the move. They say the move will affect their business. “Why will shoppers come to the market if they don’t have parking space? They have been telling us that multi-storey parking lot at South Extension will ease the parking problem, but the civic authorities are yet to start work on the project,” said Rajesh Kumar, secretary, South Extension Part I Traders’ Association.
The traffic police on the other hand are contending that smooth traffic takes precedence over creating parking space. The traffic police are trying to restrict the number of parking lots in many areas with jams becoming a regular feature on Delhi roads. “If parking space obstructs smooth passage of traffic, preference will be given to smooth flow of traffic. The civic agency needs to think of alternatives to ease the parking woes in the city, whether it is by creating underground parking or multi-level parking,” said SN Srivastav, Joint Commissioner Traffic Police.