The Center for Science and Environment (CSE) has written off the Rs 80-crore automatic multi-level parking in Sarojini Nagar.
It has said that the project was developed ‘without a clear strategy’, and is now proving to be pointless as commuters are still choosing to park on the roads.
In a study, CSE has found that the multi-level parking, which can hold 824 cars, is only 20 to 40% occupied on most days, while roads around the market continue to remain blocked with traffic.
To change the situation, CSE has suggested that the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) increase charges for road-side parking so people are forced into using public transport and the multi-level parking lot.
An NDMC official said that the civic body was considering a hike and a decision was likely to be made soon.
According to calculations made by CSE, to date, the parking structure has only been able to recover 1.6% of its operational costs.
“It is a time when all municipal bodies and development agencies in Delhi are committed to building numerous multi-level car parks. But the Sarojini Nagar case shows us that it is important to draw lessons from the structures already built, before surrendering more urban spaces to this mindless and expensive construction for cars,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, head of CSE’s urban mobility programme.
The only way to resolve the issue of parking scarcity, Vivek Chattopadhyay, deputy programme manager of CSE’s urban mobility team said, was to end parking subsidies, initiate immediate parking pricing reforms, effect high parking charges, and enforce stringent enforcement and high penalties for violations.
“CSE’s latest survey shows car users will shift to other modes of transport only if they are forced to pay three times more parking charges. Already, parking devours close to 10% of the urban land in Delhi; the daily addition of cars is creating additional demand for land bigger than 300 football fields,” he said.