Source – Hindustan Times – Ritam Haldar
everal initiatives such as premium parking lots, rationalised tariffs were blocked by political leaders in the civic bodies
NEW DELHI: Premium parking lots, steep hike in one-time parking rates, congestion charges, multilevel facilities — over a period of time, the civic agencies had taken numerous measures to tide over the severe parking crunch in the capital. But most of these either failed to see the light of day while others flopped big time.
VIPIN KUMAR/ HT PHOTOThis municipal parking at Asaf Ali Road is being used as a graveyard for vehicles. This parking lot, where one can spot cars that have been parked here for years, is dark and considered to be unsafe.In a bid to discourage motorists from keeping their vehicles in clogged corners of South Delhi and to decongest these areas, for example, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation had planned premium parking lots at these stretches with a tariff of ` 100.
According to a senior official of the South civic body, the proposal for premium parking lots had been sent to the remunerative project (RP) cell. “The suggestion was given by the traffic police and transport commissioner. The corporation had approached them regarding permission for parking lots on congested single lanes. They denied permission and instead suggested high premium lots at these sites,” the official said.
The official said they were waiting for the RP cell committee to clear the proposal.
“Once implemented, these premium parking lots in tune with the ones at AIIMS and the New Delhi Railway Station will discourage people from getting their vehicles and encourage them to go for public transport,” the official said.
But going by the record of proactive moves, which end up only being on paper and are seldom implemented, there isn’t much hope.
Similarly, in this year’s budget, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation commissioner in his budget proposal had proposed a hike in the one-time parking charge. For a car costing less than ` 4 lakh, the charge would have been increased from ` 2,000 to ` 4,000, for ones between ` 4 lakh and ` 10 lakh, the rate would have been hiked from ` 4,000 to ` 8,000, between ` 10 and ` 20 lakh it would have been ` 15,000 while for ones worth more than ` 20 lakh, the rate would have been revised to ` 30,000.
The North civic body, too, had proposed that for a car costing less than ` 6 lakh, the charge would have been increased to ` 5,000, for ones between ` 6 lakh and ` 10 lakh, the rate would have been hiked to ` 9,000, between ` 10 and ` 20 lakh it would have been ` 18,000 while for ones worth more than ` 20 lakh, it would have been revised to two per cent of the cost of the vehicle. But both plans were rejected. “People who can afford to buy cars worth ` 1 crore shouldn’t have any problem paying ` 2 lakh or more as a one-time tax. For ones buying cheaper cars, the proposed rates were much less. However, the political wing didn’t want to burden the common man,” a North official said.
Another ambitious move was congestion pricing or congestion charges proposed by the North body to be implemented only in commercial areas such as Sadar Bazar, Paharganj and Karol Bagh zones.
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