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Parking on roads in Chandigarh will burn a 1,000 hole in your pocket

Traffic police to focus on violators in residential areas, especially those blocking way, despite parking space on their premises
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Rajanbir Singh, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON JAN 31, 2020 01:08 AM IST

Parking your vehicle on the road, blocking traffic flow or even pedestrian or cycle tracks is sure to land you in soup, with the traffic police reintroducing their challan drive against these violations.

Not only will the offence invite a 1,000 fine, traffic police will also tow away vehicles blocking movement of traffic on major and tertiary roads, as directed by the Punjab and Haryana high court on January 24.

Idly parked vehicles fall under the purview of wrong parking. The penalty is 1,000 for the first offence and 2,000 each for subsequent offences. If the vehicle is towed, another charge of 1,000 is levied.

“Traffic police will enforce the HC order to the letter. Challans will be issued against vehicles causing congestion, which can lead to accidents. Even vehicles parked on cycle/pedestrian paths will be challaned, as they endanger lives,” said Shashank Anand, senior superintendent of police (SSP, traffic).

He added that they will focus on residential areas where people park their cars on the road despite having adequate space for parking on their premises.

The traffic police have already started issuing challans to vehicles wrongly parked on main roads, such as Dakshin Marg, Madhya Marg and Udyog Path.

A similar drive was carried out in 2018 where vehicles were clamped and towed away from outside houses. However, the drive was discontinued in 2019 following protests by residents, who demanded that they be allowed to park vehicles outside their houses.

As compared to a population of 11.28 lakh, the city had 11.62 lakh vehicles in 2018, making Chandigarh the city with the highest vehicle density in the country.

While long-term solutions to address traffic congestion, including the Tribune flyover, ring roads and mobility projects like metros and skybuses, have failed to materialise, traffic jams have continued to rise.

NO FINE FOR PARKING STICKERS

The traffic police have also started implementation of the HC order against stickers. However, SSP Shashank Anand said, parking passes and stickers issued from institutions will be exempted from challans.

“Parking stickers issued by institutions and other bodies, including FASTag stickers, will be allowed. We implemented the order within 72 hours of high court’s directive. Traffic police have started challaning violators and are also creating awareness among people,” Anand said.

On January 24, HC had banned display of designation and profession on private as well as government vehicles in the tricity, and asked the police to enforce the ban within 72 hours.

Under the order, the display of designation/description of office and unauthorised emblems on all vehicles was prohibited. Printing words like ‘court’, ‘army’, ‘press’ and ‘police’ and designations, such as chairman and vice-chairman, was banned. Only ambulances, fire brigades, police cars and other vehicles used for rescue were exempted.

Violation of the order will invite a challan under Section 177 of the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act. While the first offence entails a challan worth 500, the fine increases to 1,000 for subsequent offences.

Officials of the challaning branch couldn’t be reached regarding the number of challans issued since the HC order.

Earlier, UT adviser Manoj Parida had said they will challenge the order with the UT administrator’s approval.

Member of Parliament Kirron Kher had also written to the administration seeking an exemption to use a flag — with ‘MP’ written on it — on her car.

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