Grill Session - Manish Gupta, Commissioner, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC)
Lack of adequate parking space is one problem all residents of south Delhi face. Rapid commercialisation of colony markets has made arterial roads a nightmare.
We are aware of the problem and are looking for ways to sort it out. The volume of cars has increased exponentially in the past decade. Meeting the growing demand for parking space is a big challenge.
Parking is a sore point in all these residential areas. Residents have encroached on the roads. What steps has the SDMC taken to penalise such people?
Regulation on parking in residential areas is a controversial issue. The number of cars has gone up manifold but the space is still the same. Limited resources are a reality. We do, however, take action on anyone who encroaches and extends the boundary of their houses. A lot of times, the police have pointed out such instances.
The special task force on traffic has come up with a draft parking policy, which, I believe, has answers to a lot of problems. It is still to be considered by the Delhi Government. It is well researched and will surely do something to manage the parking mess. The implementation of the policy, if passed, however, will not be easy as many residents are bound to oppose it.
What about encroachment on roadsides by vendors?
According to the Supreme Court and high court orders, vendors have as much right to public spaces as those with cars, with which I agree.
Does the SDMC have any plans to come up with parking lots in these areas?
We had thought of constructing parking lots under parks but the Environment Pollution Control Authority shot it down. We are now planning to build underground and multi-level parkings in both Saket and Malviya Nagar. We have funds for the projects but acquiring land will be a big problem.