‘Even I have faced overcharging at lots’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Even I have faced overcharging at lots’

North Delhi Municipal Corporation commissioner PK Gupta has blamed paltry parking rates for the mushrooming of illegal lots and the growth of the parking mafia. Excerpts from an interview:

india Updated: May 22, 2014 01:42 IST
Ritam Halder

North Delhi Municipal Corporation commissioner PK Gupta has blamed paltry parking rates for the mushrooming of illegal lots and the growth of the parking mafia. Excerpts from an interview:

The parking mafia is very active in your area. What do you think?
Officially, there are no reports about them. But complaints keep coming in. This is primarily because of the low parking tariff. We had called a meeting of private contractors, who told us that if the rates are not rational they cannot participate in the process.

But illegal lots are spread across North Delhi
All deputy commissioners have been directed to file FIRs against illegal parking lots. Traffic police are supposed to take action. The ever increasing demand for parking space results in these mushrooming in various parts.

Nobody pays Rs 10, the de-facto rate seems to be Rs 20 or more.
That is not the case. There are many lots that charge corporation-approved tariffs. Even I have faced overcharging. When the tariff remains abnormally low, most people tend to pay up. The errant contractors take home the money that should come reach the civic body’s coffers.

What action do you take against such lots?
Contractors have been directed to follow various guidelines. Violation will result in hefty fines and can even lead to cancellation of licences. First-time offenders have to pay 25% of their licence fee as fine, which is 50% for the second offence, 75% for the third time and 100% for the fourth time. If a contractor is found overcharging the fifth time, his licence is cancelled.

What is the way forward?
Number of vehicles need to be curbed and public transport must be improved. Innovations such as multilevel lots and stilt parkings are not the only answer.