Parking on footpath in Delhi, may land you in jail, attract hefty fine under new policy
The ‘Parking Policy for Delhi’ also proposes to charge more for daytime parking and for peak hours. Rates will also be different during weekdays and weekends.delhi Updated: Jun 20, 2017 18:37 IST
Parking your vehicle on a footpath might get you arrested and secure a trip to jail.
The draft Parking Policy for Delhi has suggested making parking on footpaths a cognisable offence under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act. For a cognisable offence, the police can arrest the violator without a warrant.
This is one of the various measures being planned as part of the lieutenant governor approved policy.
Parking rates in Delhi were last revised in 2014. The increased fee by the municipal corporations can easily be called a token amount as it costs only Rs 20 to park a car per hour.
Experts have been arguing for years that the corporation should increase its parking fee to deter people from buying new cars but they claimed it was never done mostly due to political reasons.
With the parking policy ready, this is going to change. While no kind of parking is going to be free, differential rates will be introduced. “The civic bodies should use a wide variety of tools for dynamic pricing. They can use time variable charges such as higher rates during peak hour, progressive increase in rates per hour, differentiation in parking fees can be done according to zone, peak hour demand and rates for weekdays and weekends,” the policy states.
According to government estimates, Delhi’s municipal corporations are likely to earn an additional Rs 500-600 crore per annum by increasing parking rates.
Surface parking and parking mafia
Officially, there are 250 surface parking sites across the city. However, the stretches where cars are being illegally parked along roads and on footpaths are far more than the designated spaces. In some places such as Kamla Market, the parking mafia allows illegal parking, officials of North Delhi Municipal Corporation said.
The policy aims to counter this by laying seven conditions for contractors. “Get full details of contractor to ensure that cartelisation is not happening (to do through affidavits and physical verification). Take adequate security deposit to check misuse (NDMC takes two months advance license fee+ four months security; MCD takes annual money in advance; sites are auctioned for two years),” the document read.
It further suggested imposing strict penalties against misuse and made it mandatory for contractors to use hand-held devices instead of issuing paper slips.
Multi-level parking lots
Surface parking is seen as the cheapest form of parking as the opportunity cost of the land is not reflected in the charges. At the same time, multi-level parking (MLP) is being grossly underutilised.
Citing examples of the MLPs at Sarojini Nagar and Hauz Khas, the policy talks of reducing rates at such facilities and increasing it for surface parking.
“On-street parking may be priced three times higher than off street. On street parking may be priced for every 30 minute per lot, increasing as per the formula 2x+10, where x is the charge for the previous hour, up to a maximum of three hours. Heavy penalties to be levied beyond three hours which could be an additional Rs 100 and increase beyond that,” it said.
Apart from this, some commercial roads will be declared “no parking” roads. It also suggested that at least 75% capacity of parking lots around commercial areas be kept for short-term parking, meaning for visitors. This is to prevent shopkeepers and office-goers from blocking such spaces throughout the day. They would be pushed to use MLPs instead.
There are over six lakh transport vehicles that are registered in Delhi alone. Apart from this, thousands of cabs are plying illegally. For enforcement officials, the problem has been that most of the commercial vehicles are parked illegally along arterial roads and even in residential areas creating a safety hazard.
For this, the policy states, “Overnight parking of buses, trucks, tourist buses, vans, water tankers, containers, lorries etc. may be allowed only along notified roads during night hours only upon certain payment to local bodies/PWD to discourage haphazard parking. Such areas should be brought under the management of private service providers for realisation of parking charges. No parking should be allowed except on notified roads.”
Presently, Delhi Traffic Police is mandated to take action against unauthorised parking. Agencies such as the PWD, DDA or MCDs which actually own the roads and maintain them have no power to prosecute the encroachers.
The new policy suggests giving enforcement powers for challaning to local bodies and the PWD under the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
“The MCDs have enforcement staff but due to their multifarious duties, it is recommended that they should create a dedicated enforcement cell to regulate parking in their areas by exercising these powers,” it added.
Number of cars
Approximately seven lakh vehicles are registered in a year and the law does not prescribe any limit for purchase of motor vehicles.
In order to discourage ownership of multiple cars by one individual, incremental increase in road tax will be considered.
The transport department will prepare a policy to disincentivise purchase of multiple cars in the name of an individual or family and for that purpose incremental increase in road tax shall be proposed. This would need an amendment to the Delhi Motor Vehicles Taxation Act.
“While the contemporary view considers car as a necessity for work or to ferry an elderly parent or a child to school, it suggests that fairness lies in keeping car ownership accessible for all. Till the ownership is limited to requirement, it may remain a necessity but the ownership of multiple cars is broadly a luxury which needs to be discouraged and the next step for that purpose is to tax progressively upwards, the second, third and fourth car,” the report stated.