Parked proposals

The South civic body’s plan to end haphazard parking in commercial and residential areas is yet to gain traction

Two years ago, the Delhi Government chalked out the Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules. The Capital’s three municipal corporations — North, South and East — were instructed to develop parking area management plans (PMAPs) to regularise haphazard parking in commercial and residential areas. The civic bodies were also required to consult Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) during both development and implementation stage.

However, the implementation of the policy, aimed at reducing congestion caused by haphazard parking, is yet to gain pace. Take the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), for instance.

According to the corporation, PMAPs for 16 locations under its jurisdiction have been developed and put in the public domain. Prem Shankar Jha, Deputy Commissioner of SDMC’s Remunerative Project Cell, said that encroachments, vehicles parked in front of homes, lack of space for cyclists and pedestrians and dumped vehicles were among the long-standing list of problems that were identified across these 16 locations.

Surveys, solutions

Solutions mooted include setting up multilevel car parking facilities, stack and puzzle parking, removal of dumped vehicles, prohibiting parking in congested areas, clearing encroachments and charging a high fee for on-street parking — to discourage long-duration parking. “In most of the 16 locations, the demand for parking surpasses the supply that is available. We’ve observed that even owners with stilt parking facility park their vehicles on streets,” said Mr. Jha.

Surveys for some of these locations have thrown up varying issues. In Kailash Colony for instance, while the on-street space is sufficient in residential areas, the commercial and market areas suffer from congestion. In Nizamuddin Basti, only 65 cars can be parked on existing streets without causing congestion. Apart from this, the need for a dedicated tourist parking space was also highlighted.

The SDMC plans to convert 713.13 sq.m. of a park in Kailash Colony into a multilevel parking and a portion of the Amir Khusro Park in Nizamuddin Basti into an off-street parking for tourists. Such conversions are prohibited under the proposed Master Plan of Delhi-2021 (MPD-2021). However, Mr. Jha said that the portions marked in Kailash Colony and Nizamuddin Basti were not green areas under master plan.

Mr. Jha said the plans will help ensure ample walking space for pedestrians, cycle stations and decongestion in areas that have long-standing issues of haphazard parking; 2% of the parking space will be made available for disabled individuals, including facilities such as ramps.

“Apart from the owners who park their vehicles in their colonies which suffer from frequent congestion, no parking of additional vehicles will be allowed there. Alternative spots will be given instead. Available parking facilities will have 2-3 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations,” said Mr. Jha, adding the next step is for the area parking plans to be notified for implementation.

Consultations with RWAs

While physical consultations of PMAPs for three locations – Malviya Nagar, Lajpat Nagar Market, Lajpat Nagar III – were carried out with RWAs, the consultations for the remaining areas were conducted online, said Mr. Jha.

However, Rajiv Kakria, member of Greater Kailash I RWA, said that there was no communication regarding the online consultations and that civic bodies consult RWAs only when they want to implement a plan and not while designing it.

Atul Goyal, president of United Residents’ Joint Action, said that lack of transparency has led to trust deficit among RWAs. However, he agreed that on-street parking charges may discourage long-duration parking: “It should be implemented because people will be responsible for where they park and for how long.”

Not surprisingly, only the PMAPs for Lajpat Nagar Market and Lajpat Nagar III have been implemented so far.

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