We pay Rs 20 per hour for parking in even the most congested corners of the city. Experts think it is unfair and now even Delhiites are agreeing to it.
In Hindustan Times public engagement initiative, Metro Speaks, a poll was organised among metro commuters where they were asked “Is parking fee in Delhi unfair”. A whopping 77% (14,076 people) felt the rates were not fair.
Higher parking rates discourage people from using personal vehicles and use public transport. In the Capital, where 1,400 cars are added daily, however, that is not the case.
Most of the parking lots in the city are run by the civic bodies. Even a couple of years back, the rates were as low as Rs 10 for 10 hours and Rs 20 for 24 hours in most lots of the city.
Now, in the New Delhi Municipal Council area, the rates are Rs 20 per hour for the first five hours, and a flat rate of Rs 100 for the whole day. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has similar rates while North and East civic bodies charge Rs 20 for the first hour and consecutively Rs 10 each hour to a maximum of Rs 200 for the whole day.
To put a premium on the Capital’s parking spaces, the Union urban development ministry is also planning to hike parking charges in Delhi by up to 25 times. Recommendations by a high-powered committee set up by the ministry also plans to make street or footpath parking a cognisable offence with provision for hefty penalty and even confiscation of vehicles.
PK Sarkar, head of department (transport planning) at the School of Planning and Architecture, says the rates are far less than what they should be. “We are charging much less. Parking rates should be according to the land value of a particular area based on present development and economic activity. In Delhi, it should be at least Rs 50 per hour,” Sarkar said.
“Parking fee should be market-driven and vary around the city based on time, location and local demand and congestion levels through the day. Higher the congestion, more should be the parking fee to reduce parking demand. However, that is not the case at the moment,” a senior south corporation official said.
Globally parking policies aim to control usage of personal vehicles, meet clean air targets, and generate parking revenue into area development and public transport improvement. In New York, very high parking fees, limited parking supply and improved public transport connectivity have lowered car ownership far below the US average. Bremen has banned free parking in the city centre.
In Shenzhen, hiked parking fees during peak hours has reduced 30 per cent drop in parking demand. In London parking income and revenue goes to transportation projects. In Tokyo enforcement against parking violations has helped to cut congestion drastically.