Corporators lash out against parking mafia

May 14, 2013

 Hindustan Times (Delhi)
  HT Correspondent/ ht [email protected]

NORTH DELHI- Matter comes up in house meeting on Monday; members say parking mafia running amok at Gandhi Maidan and Parade Ground parking lots

Parking in north Delhi came under the corporation’s scanner on Monday as both the House and Opposition members lashed out against allegations of parking mafia overcharging commuters.


   Corporators raised the issue with Mayor Azad Singh in the House meeting on Monday, saying the parking mafia is running amok at various sites such as Gandhi Maidan and Parade Ground parking lots.

“When the monthly parking rate is R600, they are charging R800. This is how they are looting residents of north Delhi. When the corporation has not changed the parking fee, how can contractors overcharge,” leader of the Opposition in north corporation, Mukesh Goel, said.

When contacted, Sanjay Bhargava, general secretary of the Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal, said the contractor at Parade Ground parking has been charging R30 per entry as against R10 approved by the civic body.

“From Friday, the lot is charging R30 for surface parking. If anyone raises their voice, they are threatened and ordered not to park at the lot. They are also issuing parking slips of MCD with Jama Masjid printed as site of parking and not Parade Ground,” Bhargava said.

Municipal commissioner PK Gupta said showcause notices will be sent to parking contractors against whom the complaints have been filed. “Firsttime offenders will have to pay 25 per cent of their licence fee as fine, which will become 50 per cent the second time, 75 per cent the third time and 100 per cent the fourth time. If a contractor is found overcharging the fifth time, his licence will be cancelled,” Gupta said.

Leader of the House Mahinder Nagpal said these unscrupulous individuals needed to be dealt with stern action.

“We didn’t raise the parking charges thinking about the people. However, some people are doing exactly that. I had called three days back and asked the officials about this after a complaint came to me. The parking mafia won’t be tolerated,” Nagpal said.


Case study: Here parking is a luxury

May 8, 2013

 Ritam Halder, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 08, 2013

 Case study: Here parking is a luxury


  Two prime spots in the Capital are doing their bit to discourage people from using their personal cars.

The parking lot at the Indira Gandhi International Airport can accommodate up to 4,300 vehicles. Yet its steep parking charges – Rs. 80 for half an hour, Rs. 160 for up to two hours, Rs. 80 for each subsequent hour and Rs. 1,050 for 24 hours – has been a deterrent for many.

 But airport officials claim the tariff is not meant to discourage people from using cars. “Despite the best possible facility, parking charges here are still less,” an official said.

Recently, the airport began charging on even private cars waiting in the pick-up lane at the domestic terminal 1C after five minutes. After that, an overstaying charge of Rs. 100 is levied for the next five minutes and every subsequent five minutes mean shelling out Rs. 50.

The official said the system was meant to reduce congestion and manage traffic.

At AIIMS campus, one has to pay Rs. 100 for parking for up to four hours. After that, Rs. 15 has to be paid for every subsequent hour. So even if you park for 10 minutes, be ready to shell out Rs. 100.

For many family members of patients and their visitors, the charges came as a rude shock. “I had visited an ailing colleague for just 15 minutes and had to pay Rs. 100. Had I know how exorbitant the rates were, I wouldn’t have brought my car,” said Ritesh Sharma, a resident of Vasant Kunj.

According to AIIMS officials, the move aims at discouraging people to park in the premises.

“Due to the space crunch, we have kept parking charges high. This helps in decongestion,” said Dr YK Gupta, AIIMS spokesperson.



Traffic police, civic bodies must be more responsible

May 8, 2013

Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 08, 2013    
Expert Speak- An interview with Bhure Lal, Chairman , Supreme Court-Appointed
Enviormental Pollution (Prevention and Control ) Authority
What do you think could be the solution to the parking mess?
We need to limit the number of vehicles, or else the consequences will be grim. No development is possible if mobility is zero. Decongesting roads is of utmost importance and strengthening public transport is the
The three corporations of Delhi didn’t raise parking charges. How costly will this move be in the longer run?
Parking rates hikes are meant to discourage people from using cars. A person needs parking spots at three places – home, roads and markets. If parking becomes more expensive, people will think of alternative options. Use of cars needs to be controlled.

A number of pavements are being used to park vehicles even inside colonies. Not only does it affect traffic movement, but it also makes pedestrians’ life difficult.

This is being done in gross violation of traffic rules. The Delhi Police is also discouraging this and the violators should be fined heavily. We should take a lesson from the Pune Municipality that fined Rs. 2,000 for any vehicle found parked on a footpath.

The parking mafia has been encroaching upon the city’s prime public land in the garb of parking lots. Why has no action been taken against them yet?
Once such a parking site is identified, we inform the traffic police and the civic bodies about them. We have constantly been directing them to take action against these people. Land is scarce and if we allow the land mafia to take over, what will happen to the city? The traffic police and civic agencies need to be more responsible.



May 8, 2013

8 May 2013 Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Ritam Halder   

 The poll season has thrown a dampener on the high court-appointed committee’s suggestion of hiking parking charges to decongest the city. Considering that the Assembly elections are due in November this year, all civic agencies are reluctant about adopting the hiked parking charges as suggested by the committee.

And yet land is a scare commodity. Already 11% of Delhi is being used for parking even as 1,400 new vehicles — of which 470 are cars — are added to the city’s roads every day.

As per government estimates, over 75 lakh cars are running on the Capital’s roads. “The speed of traffic on arterial roads has decreased significantly. Moreover, personal cars registered last year demanded parking space equivalent to the size of 310 football fields. In the years to come, valuable public land will be taken up for parking,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, Centre for Science and Environment.

“The ongoing urban emissions. info study on speed busts the myth that cars are the best way to travel in Delhi and NCR. The pilot study in south Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon and Dwarka found that cars crawled at 4 kmph for almost 24 minutes in two hours of driving and one million cars waste 2,00,000 liters of fuel for plying daily. The study also cautions against building new roads and flyovers,” Roy chowdhury said, adding that Delhi is so gridlocked and polluted considering when 48 per cent of the Capital’s households do not own any vehicle.

When quizzed about the solutions to the mess, she said Delhi should follow the example set by other big cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.

But the municipal agencies feel otherwise. “We have written to the L-G. The order on hiking parking charges is not acceptable. Even when the municipal commissioner in his budget proposal had proposed the hike, we had not agreed,” leader of the House in North Corporation Mahender Nagpal had said.

Standing committee chairman of the S outh Delhi Municipal Corporation Rajesh Gehlot said, “We are not implementing these revised parking rates. We have to think of the people who have elected us. We had promised them that we won’t increase parking charges. We can’t put additional burden on them. ”


41 parking projects planned but only 1 opened 10 Car Parks Scrapped, 13 Others Likely To Miss Construction Deadlines

May 4, 2013

Risha Chitlangia TNN

New Delhi: It’s a chicken-and egg situation. In the absence of a good public transport system, the city is dependent on private transport. The number of vehicles is steadily increasing as close to 1200 cars are registered in Delhi every day. But the civic infrastructure has not kept pace with this trend. Of the 41 multilevel parking projects conceived by the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) between 2007 and 2010, just one at Paharganj has been made operational and close to 10 scrapped!
In the past 10 years, just three multilevel parkings – Sarojini Nagar, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and the stack parking at Sheila Cinema in Paharganj – providing space for about 2500 cars have come up in the city. According to a survey in 20 cities worldwide, Delhi is the worst place to park a car. With their parking projects stuck, the civic agencies and Delhi government are devising ways to discourage car users. From hiking parking rates to imposing a congestion tax, various options have been explored even as the public transport system, which can actually make a difference, remains quite inadequate and unreliable.
Despite the hike in parking rates, Delhiites say the use of private vehicles will not go down. “It is a lot cheaper and convenient to use your own car. Autos don’t ply by the meter and buses are overcrowded. How do you expect people to use public transport? Before hiking parking charges, the government should put a robust and affordable public transport system in place,’’ said Manish Khanna, a businessman.
Of the 41 parking projects, 13 are under construction. North and South corporations claim that five parking lots will be made operational by mid-June but it would be better to take this with a pinch of salt. The parking lots at Hauz Khas and Parade Ground, which were inaugurated with much fanfare last year, are yet to be made operational. South Corporation officials attribute the delay to other government agencies. “It takes a lot of time to get permission from various government agencies like forest, ASI, DDA, DJB, DUAC etc. The contractors are also to be blamed. We will impose a penalty on the contractors once the work is over,’’ said an official.
“A lot of planned parking projects had to be scrapped as EPCA refused to give permission to construct parking lots underneath parks,” said Manish Gupta, commissioner, South Corporation. “We are looking for new sites where parking lots can be constructed. We have written to DDA but we are yet to hear from them. Another reason for the delay in parking projects, especially the ones under JNNURM, is that the government had asked used to get the work done on parking projects vetted by an independent agency. It took a lot of time to hire an independent agency as the guidelines regarding the appointment of such an agency were changed several times.’’
Multiple agencies are looking into the parking issue. Environmentalists have been vociferously pushing for inconveniencing car users. Based on the recommendations of Delhi high court-appointed special task force (STF) and environment pollution control authority (EPCA), the Delhi government approved a hike in parking charges and NDMC is all set to implement it from June 1. But the three municipal corporations, which are led by the BJP, have decided not to implement the hike with the assembly elections scheduled to be held later this year.
But the corporations are doing precious little to rein in the parking contractors who are fleecing people, especially at markets. There are just 300-odd authorized surface-level parking sites in the city. A majority are being run illegally but the corporation is unable to take action. “The construction of a multilevel parking at Kamla Nagar market has been going on for the past six years. Due to the construction work, shoppers are forced to park on main roads. Now, the traffic police are issuing challans. Where should people park their vehicles,” asks Naresh Sambher, president of the market association.
The political wing of the three corporations is clueless. “We are trying to complete the projects, but post-trifurcation, it has become difficult for us to fund them,’’ said Mahinder Nagpal, leader of the house, North Corporation.
TARDY PACE: The parking at Hauz Khas is yet to become operational

Multi-level parking at Parade Ground misses high court deadline

April 1, 2013

Multi-level parking at Parade Ground misses high court deadline


NEW DELHI: The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has missed the March 31 deadline of making the parking at Chandni Chowk Parade Ground operational.

The deadline was set by the Delhi High Court. The north body has been able to open only two levels of the underground parking. The parking has four levels, one on the ground and three underground. Only the ground and the upper basement level have been made operational so far.

The civic body officials said some “last-minute work” is being done on the other floors.

Traders of Chandni Chowk have complained to municipal commissioner PK Gupta about the delay. “We would request you to kindly look into the issue and ensure that the parking be made fully operational as per the undertaking given to the Delhi High Court,” wrote the Chandni Chowk Sarv Vypar Mandal.

According to the traders’ body president Sanjay Bhargava, the absence of parking is increasing the pressure on the already congested market, which does not have enough space.

“During weekends when the number of visitors increases, it becomes very difficult to commute in Chandni Chowk as people park cars on the roadside, choking up the carriageway,” he said.

Traders also complain that the nearby Gandhi Ground parking is also in a bad shape and needs renovation.

“The parking is open for the public and people are using it. It is only a matter some time before the entire structure is operational,” said leader of the House Mahender Nagpal.

The unified MCD in February 2012 had inaugurated the 1,020car capacity underground multilevel parking lot in a hurry even before the structure had been completed.

The underground parking will cater to more than 720 cars, while the surface parking area will be utilised for parking of 300 cars.

The parking has been constructed at a cost of R52 crore.




Car parking made easy

October 10, 2011

The automated multi-level car parking facility set up in the city.

The automated multi-level car parking facility set up in the city

More than the traffic police, shoppers visiting congested areas around Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in their four-wheelers can heave a sigh of relief now.

For the first time in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu, a textile showroom has provided an automated multi-level car parking facility for its customers near its outlet on East Avani Moola Street. About 40 cars of all sizes can be parked at this facility with ease.

Owing to inadequate space, it is common to see four-wheelers and other vehicles parked on the roadside, causing congestion to road users. It is a daily chore for the traffic police to pursue violators and impose fines or tow the vehicles. Ultimately, vehicles parked on the roadside resulted in shrinking of carriage space and broad roads appearing narrow.

With vehicle population growing at a rapid pace even in tier two cities such as Madurai, finding a permanent solution to the issue of parking of vehicles seemed to be a difficult proposition. In some cities, the officials (town planning and traffic police) admitted that the situation had gone out of control. “We have learnt to live with traffic congestions and moving at a snail’s pace on main thoroughfares has become the norm,” officials say.


“Customers coming from near and afar expressed difficulties in visiting our showroom owing to lack of parking space for their cars. Now they can heave a sigh of relief,” said R. Muruganand, Managing Director of Rajmahal, a leading textile showroom in the city. With the available space near the showroom, RR Parkon Private Limited, a leading infrastructure provider of automated multi-level car parking systems, have built the facility for the exclusive use of Rajmahal’s customers.

Speaking to reporters here on Friday, RR Parkon Director Balachandran Dharmen said that depending on the space available, the provided the right model for its clients. Giving an example, he said, in a residential apartment, where only three cars could be parked normally, they could provide space for 50 cars. “Vehicles are not only safe and parked in an organised manner, but complaints of thefts can be avoided and mischief mongers can be kept at bay,” he said.

There were various types of models. And in any given type, the vehicle could be taken out in less than 100 seconds. The operation was simple. The main advantage of mechanised car parking system was that in a small area, a large number of cars could be parked, he said.

The company was associated with some of the best names in realty business by providing innovative parking solutions at an optimum cost. The company had completed over 100 projects in many cities across the country. They were keen on taking up projects from government-owned lands on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, Mr. Dharmen said.

By constructing many multi-level parking facilities, congested locations in the Temple City may soon turn to be most preferred destinations for shoppers.


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