NEW DELHI: The Delhi transport department has drawn up a draft parking policy to resolve the long-standing problem of traffic congestion on city streets and sought the opinion of the people about it.
The draft Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Rules, 2017, proposes to give priority to pedestrians, cyclists, emergency vehicles and buses — not personal vehicles — for use of on-street space. It proposes to double fees for on-street parking, which will increase exponentially after the first hour, and impose separate charges for peak and off-peak hours.
It also proposes to bar parking at least 50 metres from intersections and give priority to the requirement of schools at opening and closing times. “The policy is the first step towards de-congesting Delhi. The floor is now open for suggestions from the public. Any credible feedback will be looked into before we implement it,” said a Delhi transport department official. It, however, appears that car-owners have not reacted favourably to the policy. Many car-owners have highlighted different proposals they are opposed to.
Pranav Pandey, a resident of Kamla Nagar area in North Delhi, said: “The policy is a long-term plan to de-congest Delhi. Strengthening public transport should be the government’s first priority to successfully implement parking rules. Being a car owner, I protest against the heavy penalties.”
Ankur Pandey, a resident of Sarita Vihar, also protested against the proposal to charge a big fee for parking in front of one’s home. “I am a middle-class man. When I bought my car a year ago, I had paid taxes. My apartment does not have parking facilities, so I park my vehicle on the road. It is ridiculous that I will have to pay a hefty amount to park in front of my house,” he said.
Aam Aadmi Party MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj was of the opinion that the draft parking policy was not practical and would be an injustice on residents. “It should be implemented after building proper infrastructure. We must build parking lots, offer them to residents and if they still park their vehicles on the road, they can be taxed for that,” he said.
Resident welfare associations have also reacted angrily. “We will get out on roads and oppose this draft policy if it is implemented. It is superficial and impractical and harsh on car owners who reside in Delhi. We have already paid a one-time parking fee while buying the vehicle. Then why should we pay more to park outside our own house?” asked B S Vohra, president of the federation of RWAs of over 100 colonies in East Delhi.