No more free parking in Khan Market? Traders protest as NDMC takes over lot
A spokesperson for Khan Market Traders Association claimed that the parking is being managed by the traders from the past several years and the NDMC move will leave several people jobless.delhi Updated: Nov 30, 2017 13:36 IST
It might be the time to say goodbye to free parking in Khan Market as New Delhi Municipal Council is taking over the lots in this shoppers’ hub.
Traders of Khan Market had shut down their shops on Wednesday after the council directed it’s staff to manage the parking at the market. The NDMC claimed that the decision to take over the parking lot has come after the traders’ association failed to pay nearly Rs 3.5 crore arrears. The shops were shut as a sign of protest between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Khan Market Traders Association claimed that the parking is being managed by the traders from the past several years and the NDMC move will leave several people jobless.
“The NDMC wants to make it a paid parking. We are requesting them not to. We are managing things well. Today, when the council staff came and tried to take over the parking lot, some shopkeepers decided in the spur of the moment to do a symbolic protest,” said the spokesperson.
Many shoppers had to return as traders sat down in front of their shops.
“In 2011, NDMC was allotted a plot near Khan Market to develop multilevel parking lot but it has been more than six years and nothing has happened so far. NDMC is unnecessarily interfering in the management of parking lots in Khan Market, which has been managed by the traders. We have deployed staff, which has worked here for several years. This will take away their job,” one of the traders said.
A delegation of the Khan Market Traders’ Association on Wednesday went to meet NDMC officials for “resolution of the issue”. The traders will meet the chairman on Thursday, when a final decision might be taken on whether the council will run the Khan market lots or they will be managed by the association.
The dispute on the parking lot is not new. In 2011, Delhi High Court asked the Khan Market Traders’ Association to pay a monthly licence fee of R5.34 lakh to the New Delhi Municipal Council to ensure that parking continues to remain free for the visitors. This was in lieu of the revenue loss suffered by the civic agency due to free parking.
Council officials, however, said the traders stopped payment after 2.5 years.
“Till date, Rs 3.5 crore is outstanding. A notice was issued 4-5 months ago to the traders but the reply wasn’t satisfactory. A fortnight back, we sent our staff and took over the lots. However, they asked for some time. On Wednesday, we did it again. On Thursday, a decision might be taken after a meeting with the traders’ association,” a senior council official, who wished not to be named, said.
First Published: Nov 30, 2017 13:35 IST