Residents protest against roadside parking
Residents’ groups have decided to move the court against the scheme that has contributed to traffic congestion on several roads in the city.Updated: Aug 29, 2018 02:39 IST
Residents are protesting against the Noida authority’s move to levy a fee and allow vehicles to park on roadsides across the city.
The authority, in June this year, signed contracts worth Rs 9 crore with private agencies and gave them the right to collect a parking fee from drivers of vehicles parked along roadsides in residential, industrial, and commercial areas.
“The authority has allowed vehicles to be parked on the road in Sector 2, reducing the 30-metre wide road to a narrow lane. The practice is rampant in sectors 5, 6, 7, 8, 58, 59, 63, 63 and 67, among others. Due to this, the traffic congestion has worsened,” Sunil Sethi, president, Sector 31’s B-block residents’ welfare association, said.
Residents said the authority has allowed vehicles to be parked on a stretch of road that connects Sector 19 with Sector 2 as well.
Residents, traders, office-goers, builders and entrepreneurs have registered their objections to this new scheme of allowing parking on roadsides on the grounds that roads and footpaths are meant for commuting, not for parking.
Residents’ groups have met senior Noida authority officials, as well as communicated their disagreement in writing.
Now, they have decided to move the Allahabad high court since the authority has not cancelled the scheme that has created a mess on several roads in the city.
Due to roadside parking, many wide roads in the city have turned into narrow lanes, leading to congestion.
“Roads are meant for commuting, not to park vehicles. Similarly, footpaths have been carved out for pedestrians. Why has the Noida authority allowed parking on roads and footpaths if the law does not permit this? By allowing parking on roads and footpaths, the authority is violating the law and encroaching upon the rights of the pedestrians and motorists. We have filed our petition in the high court, and will soon get the date of first hearing,” Vipin Malhan, president, Noida entrepreneurs association (NEA), a body of industrial units, said.
Social organisations, such as the federation of residents’ welfare associations, the traders’ body, and the NEA, among others, have decided to fight against this move together.
NEA office-bearers are of the view that since they have already paid a location charge (at the time of registry of an industrial or residential plot) to the government, it did not need to earn a profit by allowing parking on public space.
“I own a corner plot and have space for parking my vehicle on the roads outside it. I paid additional money to own this plot at the corner. People, who come to meet me for business, can park their vehicles in the space outside my premises. How can the authority impose a fee when I have already paid it?” Malhan said.
“We have also decided to become a party in this case. Our objection is that the authority cannot make a profit by awarding contracts for space meant for general public use. When a person buys a shop or an industrial or housing plot on a wider road, he or she pays a higher fee. And if the authority starts charging a fee for parking as well, it is illegal,” SK Jain, president, Sector 18 traders’ welfare association, said.
Residents said that parking issue is aggravating them more because industrial plots are being used for commercial purposes.
“Owners of industrial plots are using the premises for running offices rather than industrial units. Office premises need more parking space as compared to industrial units. This misuse of industrial plots is causing parking issues. The authority is not acting against this practice, which is increasing congestion,” a realtor, requesting anonymity, said.
In accordance of new rules, a contractor charges Rs 20 for the initial two hours and Rs 10 for every additional hour of parking from owners of four-wheelers.
A charge of Rs 10 for the initial two hours and Rs 5 for every additional hour is taken from owners of two-wheelers.
“Instead of creating more parking space and enforcing rules, the authority is furthering the traffic chaos across the city. Meanwhile, it is doing nothing against illegal parking and those misusing industrial plots,” Jain said.
The Noida authority said they have allowed parking on roadsides as per law.
“We have allowed parking on roads with the objective to benefit both residents and motorists. If anyone has gone to the court, then our legal department will reply in the court,” RK Mishra, additional chief executive officer of the Noida authority, said.
“We have allowed roadside parking so that motorists do not park their vehicles at will and create traffic congestion,” a Noida authority official, requesting anonymity, said.
First Published: Aug 29, 2018 02:39 IST