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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Big hikes likely in Delhi’s new parking plan, Rs 1,000 for 10 hrs workday

The plan comes at a time when there have been growing calls to dissuade private vehicle use for their contribution to pollution, which entered the ‘very poor’ category on Wednesday.

delhi Updated: Oct 17, 2019 05:37 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Parking a car in a popular area such as Connaught Place (CP) for a 10-hour workday can become costly soon.
Parking a car in a popular area such as Connaught Place (CP) for a 10-hour workday can become costly soon.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
         

A committee of government and civic officials has come up with a formula that could make parking a car in a popular area such as Connaught Place (CP) for a 10-hour workday cost nearly Rs 1,000 if the recommendations are accepted.

The plan comes at a time when there have been growing calls to dissuade private vehicle use for their contribution to pollution, which entered the ‘very poor’ category on Wednesday. The national capital has 3.3 million four-wheelers and 7.3 million two-wheelers. Nearly 500 new cars are added every day.

The formula includes “multipliers” that are targeted at discouraging parking on the road (as opposed to in a parking lot), in areas that are congested, and for long durations (see box).

The base parking fee (BPF) committee, headed by the city’s transport commissioner, has suggested that the base fee for four-wheelers be ₹10 per hour and ₹5 for two-wheelers. While the proposed minimum fare may appear lesser than existing fee of ~20 and ~10 per hour for the two categories, government and officials from the four civic agencies said the base fee will multiplied by factors depending on the four parameters: parking spot, duration, location, and time of the day.

For instance, the committee “recommended that the multiplication factor based on location of the parking may be varied from 1 to 3, which will be decided by the civic agencies after careful consideration of the location of a particular area”, read the report prepared by the BPF committee.

Areas such as CP, Lajpat Nagar and Karol Bagh, which record heavy traffic, are likely to be in the most expensive bands.

The report has been submitted to the apex monitoring committee, headed by transport minister Kailash Gahlot, for approval as mandated under the Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules, 2019, which was notified on September 25.

Gahlot said, “No date for the first meeting of the apex committee has been set yet. But, we will review the recommendations soon.”

A member of the BPF committee said a majority of areas in Delhi have on-street parking – which leads to congestion -- and that the panel has suggested civic agencies charge twice the base parking fee in order to create a deterrent. Short-duration parking will be the cheapest as the panel suggested that only the base fares be applied for under 15 minutes as long as the location multiplication factor does not exceed 2. No other surcharge will be applied on such parking.

If the formula is approved by the apex monitoring committee, municipal corporations will have to draw up the specific area-wise rates and oversee implementation.

A senior official of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), who is also the member of the BPF committee, said the MCDs will have the liberty to tweak the ‘location-based’ multiplier. “It necessarily may not be a multiplier of 2 or 3. It could be 1.5 times or 2.5 times as well. The panel has only stated that MCDs can charge up to a maximum of three times on the BPF for busy markets or CBDs (central business districts),” said Bhupender Gupta, standing committee chairperson, SDMC.

Experts welcomed the panel’s recommendations. “One of the main aims of having a parking policy is to reduce the demand for parking altogether and instead make people consider other options of travel like the public transport. The panel has rightly proposed to disincentive on-street parking by making it expensive,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director (research and advocacy), Centre for Science and Environment.

She added the new plan will push either short duration parking or mutli-level stack parking. “The 15-minute leeway is a good idea. Also, acknowledging the commercial importance of an area and charging accordingly is the right way to go about the problem,” she added.