Police will charge a fine of Rs. 600 for illegally-parked vehicles along Gurgaon’s major stretches from Wednesday to reduce congestion but residents say a chronic lack of parking spaces and a festering local mafia may derail the drive.
Authorities say most Gurgaon car-owners encroach on key thoroughfares such as MG Road while parking lots lie vacant in a city where hour-long snarls during rush-hour traffic are a common sight. They are hoping the stiff fine — double the current levy of Rs. 300 — will stop such practices.
“Our aim is to spread awareness about illegal parking as it obstructs the movements of other vehicles. We will start the drive initially in a few areas,” said deputy commissioner of police (Traffic) Balbir Singh.
But commuters complain the Millennium City that sees over 5,00,000 cars daily has only 24 authorised parking lots to accommodate them and no multi-level parking facilities, despite repeated tenders by civic authorities.
Residents allege an entrenched local gang that runs an illegal parking ring and charges high prices from vehicle-owners has physically assaulted competitors in the past and is responsible for private players keeping away.
“The parking mafia is operating across the city. They even have printed parking slips and acquired land but no action is taken against them,” said Joginder Singh, president of the resident welfare association of Sushant Lok Phase 3.
As a result, proposed multi-level lots in Sector 29 and 43 haven’t materialized due to lack of interest by private bidders. The Haryana government also missed the deadline of constructing seven parking lots before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
To resolve the issue, police are asking malls to decrease their high parking rates.
“We have asked malls to decrease charges and will encourage visitors to park vehicles inside. The attempt is to make optimum use of the limited road space,” said Singh.
Authorities have also clubbed multiple sections of the Motor Vehicles Act to increase the fine and plan to expand the drive.
“We will soon identify more roads where the traffic congestion is a major issue. Our teams will also visit DLF Cyber city and Udyog Vihar on Friday”, said Singh.
Any driver authorised to pick and drop commuters will be fined on the spot if found standing anywhere on the road.