No solution is in sight to check the astounding rise in the number of private vehicles in the Capital. And the resulting parking problem has often led to law and order problems, even murders in some cases.
The system has failed to tackle the problem and, ironically, none of the political parties have been vocal about the issue during election campaigning. The Congress’s New Delhi candidate, Ajay Maken, did promise to better the traffic situation in a campaign meeting, but he forgot to mention the parking problem.
So is there really no solution? Would the situation change if people, who face the problem everyday, were to take decisions themselves instead of some baby, sitting in an air-conditioned office?
A sliver of hope is offered by two cooperative housing societies in Indraprastha Extension in east Delhi. More than two decades ago, there were only a few cars in Rajdhani Nikunj Cooperative Housing Society. “Over the years, however, the number of cars rose dramatically, with some families owning not one but three cars. And the result? Perennial space crunch,” says Suresh Bindal, founding member of the Society of 90-odd flats.
The solution was exacting a surcharge on the additional vehicles. “As part of apartment’s maintenance, there is no charge for the first car. We charge for the second car and for the third, we charge even more,” Bindal says. “This forced people to sell their old cars and we also earned additional amount for our building fund.”
Another example comes from Vandana Apartment, which has 72 flats spread over five wings. “The number of cars increased from 10-12 initially to over a 100 today. The parking for the first car is free, we charge Rs 100 for the second and Rs 500 for the third,” Jeewesh Sharma, joint secretary of the Vandana Society, says.
Vandana Society has also been able to create additional parking space by using the vacant space between the different wings to park cars. “The space is occasionally used for functions. But that’s how we’ve been able to tackle the parking menace,” Sharma says.
This is how, Magsaysay Award winner Arvind Kejriwal says, such a problem should be solved. “Why should the MCD or the Delhi government decide how a problem like parking should be solved? Let all adults from the area come together to decide by voting on the issue,” he adds. The movement Swaraj, spearheaded by him, advocates exactly this.
To know more, log on to http://www.lokrajandolan.org.