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No free parking for VIPs in Delhi

delhi Updated: Feb 26, 2013 00:14 IST
Hamari Jamatia
Hamari Jamatia
Hindustan Times
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In a significant loss of privilege, VIPs in the city can no longer park cars for free in the Capital. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) that operates parking slots in places such as Khan Market, Connaught Place and Chanakyapuri has discontinued its policy of providing parking stickers to dignitaries, members and VIPs.

The stickers allow cars to be parked for free at all parking spaces run by the council. This year, however, a circular was distributed which announced that the printing of such stickers has been discontinued to discourage the use of cars in NDMC’s jurisdiction. According to officials, more than 400 stickers were printed each year and distributed to politicians, members and officials of NDMC, journalists and embassy staff.

“This year, the printing of stickers has been discontinued and all requests have been rejected so far. Those who have stickers from 2012 are trying to use it for the free parking but it is up to the parking contractor if he/she wants to allow cars with the old stickers,” said an official of NDMC.

According to the officials, the NDMC discontinued the system after receiving directions of the Bhurelal Committee, set up by the Supreme Court to regulate pollution in the city.

“The Bhurelal Committee sent us recommendations to discontinue the system of giving free parking privileges to VIPs as it leads to more car usage, especially in popular areas such as Khan Market, that already faces shortage of parking. Now everyone has to pay the full parking charges for using the facility,” said another official.

The Bhurelal-led EPCA committee in addition to the Delhi government-appointed Special Task Force has been working to tighten policies governing private cars in the city. The idea is to promote public transport.

After receiving umpteen requests for passes, the council has, however, set up a committee to study the requirement. The committee is expected to submit its recommendations by March, depending on which the NDMC may re-start printing the stickers.

The council is also in the process of finalizing a new parking policy, which would rationalize the parking system and also increase rates to discourage car use further.

To further augment parking, it is in the process of building a new parking lot near Khan Market.