10% of city eaten up by car spaces

July 28, 2014



New Delhi:

Finding parking space in Delhi is like a treasure hunt. The growing number of cars has led to a scramble for vacant slots and frayed nerves. Rajinder Bhatia’s death in west Patel Nagar underlines a larger issue and a crime pattern that needs a closer look. According to a study by the Centre for Science and Environment, parking takes up nearly 10% of the city’s space, just 1% less than the green cover. Delhi has 82 lakh registered vehicles and the addition of cars, many of them superfluous, will only compound parking problems in future.With the lanes in residential areas always packed, fights have become routine.

Ambulances, police vehicles and fire tenders often get stuck. “The area needed for parking vehicles is now double of what is taken up by slums in Delhi. The social inequity , shrinking of common areas and unhealthy environment will only get worse,“ said Anumita Roy choudhary , executive director, CSE.

To tackle this problem, some RWAs have restricted entry of cars, others have proposed parking lots beneath the parks. Many are using colony parks and vacant plots to squeeze in their cars. “Anyone can buy any number of cars without showing parking space. There is no policy,“ said Manjeet Singh of South Extension part-I RWA.

Another reason for the mess is the commercialization of residential roads.
Banks, nursing homes, gym and departmental stores are essential but daily fights over parking outside houses are also taking their toll. Deflating tyres, towing and damaging cars has become common.

Since 2005 civic agencies have been collecting conversion charges from these areas.
“Not a single parking lot has come up. Where has the money gone?“ said Rajiv Kakria of GK-I RWA. Of the 41 parking lots planned by the corporations since 2007, only three have been completed.

Unauthorized colonies as well as congested areas like Karol Bagh and Walled City are worse off. “We need a policy or more people will be killed over parking rows,“ said B S Vohra of East Delhi RWAs Joint Front. Experts had suggested charges for street parking but political pressure put them in cold storage. “Public transport needs to improve to reduce reliance on cars,“ said Ashok Bhasin of North Delhi Residents Welfare Forum.

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