MCD may soon let private agencies tow away vehicles
This is the first time that these enforcement rights will be extended to private concessionaires, rather than MCD or the Delhi Traffic Police.
New Delhi The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is set to grant agencies operating private parking spaces the right to tow away vehicles illegally parked in areas surrounding these facilities, officials aware of the matter said on Monday. The civic body will also impose hefty fines on such vehicles in the form of removal and storage charges, which will be divided in a 50:50 ratio with the operators, the officials said.
This is the first time that these enforcement rights will be extended to private concessionaires, rather than MCD or the Delhi Traffic Police. To be sure, these private operators are yet to be appointed, though MCD has floated tenders for the same.
The move, officials said, will help tackle the issue of illegal parking in areas where there is adequate parking space. Some of the areas with the most violations are Green Park, Chandni Chowk, and Kamla Nagar.
The removal charges will vary from ₹300 to ₹2,000, depending on the weight of the vehicle. Similarly, the storage charges will be ₹100 per day for vehicles with a weight up to 100 kg, and will be ₹200 per 100kg per day for heavier vehicles.
The decision is part of MCD’s project to upgrade 22 of its major parking facilities with a radio frequency identification (RFID)-based parking system — a chip-based system currently being used for toll tax collection across the country, that will see the use of cashless and paperless transactions. On October 11, MCD had invited bids to develop and operate these smart parking sites.
A senior MCD official said that a pre-bid meeting was held with prospective operators, and it has been decided that the concessionaires will be able to deploy an “intelligent tow truck” equipped with cameras to tow away illegally parked vehicles. “They will tow/remove vehicles parked in an unauthorised manner to a nearby parking space/municipal store. MCD will impose removal charges and storage charges from the owner of the vehicle, and 50% of the collection will be provided to the operator,” the official said.
An intelligent tow truck, the official explained, is equipped with cameras, which display live feed to MCD, traffic police, as well as on demand. These trucks are fitted with GPS devices, the information of which shall be available on an online portal.
MCD has said that information regarding towed vehicles will be updated on the MCD app and web portal immediately, and will be available to users through a dedicated helpline number.
A second MCD official said the deployment of resources through concessionaires will help in better enforcement, while also providing incentive to use the parking lots.
Ashok Bhasin, who heads the North Delhi Resident Welfare Federation, said MCD has failed to provide adequate space for parking despite charging heavy parking and conversion charges, and the goal of the civic body should not be to merely generate revenue. “First, public facilities need to be created at adequate levels, and only then can fines be imposed. Parking facilities in city are nowhere close to demand. The move may lead to harassment in future,” he said.
MCD, in a project report dated November 13, said that as part of the smart parking project, users will be provided information about vacant spaces in real time through a mobile application as well as via LED variable displays at the entrance of these facilities.