PARKING POLICY

 

PARKING is one of the emerging environmental hazards in the city. Though the Supreme Court has by its order to use CNG by public transport vehicles, ensured that the citizens are favoured with clean air to breathe, yet the situation regarding traffic is getting out of hand and will in the long term only aggravate the air pollution. There are 39 lakhs vehicles whose break up is as follows :--

 

Total number of vehicles in Delhi : -

 

·  Motorcycles/scooters/mopeds      --- 25,31,056

·  Three wheelers                          ---     49,516

·  Cars private                               --- 11,94,877

·  Taxis                                         ---      12,992

·  Goods Vehicles                           ---      74,649

·  Others                                       ---      23,524        

Total                                                 ---   38,86,614

 

In order to make parking spaces available to the large number of vehicles in the city the following urgent actions are needed so that the parking problem can be controlled. These include (a) physical infrastructure of parkings;  (b) parking charges; (c) financing of infrastructure; (d) planning controls; (e) cooperation of the people.

 

(A)     PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE      :

 

NDMC

 

The existing multi-level parkings with NDMC are a) Palika underground parking in Cannaught Place b) Mayur Bhawan behind Super Bazar c) Baba Kharak Singh Marg.

 

NDMC proposes to  create modern multi level parking systems in the following locations : (a) Behind Hindustan Times Building at Kasturba Gandhi Marg; (b) Sarojini Nagar Market;  (c) Behind LIC Building near Connaught Place.

 

NDMC shall be given land by L&DO at the above locations on predetermined rates of institutional land and not on commercial basis, as it is not possible to make the parking systems financially viable.

 

NDMC shall charge differential rates of parking fees for surface parking and underground parking so as to encourage people to use underground parkings created by the civic body.

 

The present tariff in NDMC is as follows :

 

Surface Parking                      Multi level

 

Cars   upto 12 hrs             Rs.10/-                            Rs.15/-

          upto 24 hrs            Rs.15/-                            Rs.20/-

          Monthly                 Rs.300/-                          Rs.400/-

 

Scooters upto 12 hrs         Rs.5/-                                       Rs.10/-

              upto 24 hrs        Rs.10/-                            Rs.15/-

              Monthly             Rs.200/-                          Rs.300/-                         

The parking charges shows that the current charges are not conducive to the use of underground/ multi level parkings. NDMC shall change the charges to make underground/multi level parkings attractive for users. NDMC shall also install parking meters for cars using roadside parkings.

 

All the above actions shall be initiated immediately and shall be progressed in a time bound manner and the Hon Court shall be kept informed of the progress from time to time.

 

DDA  :

 

DDA is in the process of framing the new Master Plan 2021 for a projected population of 230 lakhs in the year 2021. The present parking policy and norms are being reviewed. It is also being examined to explore better and intensive use of subterranean space/multi-storeyed superstructures for parking.  In addition DDA shall also plan to set up second hand car market on the periphery of the city and ban the use of existing spaces for second hand sales of vehicles which leads to the capture of valuable parking and public spaces by second hand vehicle dealers.

 

The basic approach of the Master Plan is to conserve transport and to curb the need of avoidable parking demand for which a multi pronged approach has been envisaged mainly comprising of the following :-

 

1.  Establishing a close linkage and inter-relationship between place of residence, work centers, social infrastructure/ facilities for which a cellular hierarchical structure is proposed in MPD 2021.

 

2.  Promoting mass transport in terms of MRTS, Bus, Intercity Rail network etc.

 

3.  Encourage mixed land use.

 

4.  Optimum densities and development controls for a compact and integrated city form.

 

5.  Stipulating mandatory parking Norms based on the assessment of parking demand for various land uses. DDA approved norms for multi level parking which is envisaged to be self – financing with a commercial component. Such sites for multi – level parking are proposed to be developed at selected / earmarked sites in District Centres / DTC terminals etc. such schemes are to be prepared by respective land owning agencies.

 

The guidelines for the master plan which have been widely circulated for public debate are enclosed at Annexure.

 

TRAFFIC POLICE :

 

A detailed traffic survey of the following areas would be undertaken by the traffic police in a time bound manner either by themselves or through other departments. These places are : (a) Nehru Place, (b) Lajpat Nagar, (c) Greater Kailash Part-I, (d) South Extension,  (e) PVR Saket,  (f) Sarojini Nagar,  (g) Bhikaji Cama Place,  (h) Delhi Hatt,  (i) Darya Ganj,  (j) Karol Bagh,  (k) Chandni Chowk,  (l) Sadar Bazar,   (m) Kamla Nagar, (n) Connaught Place,  (o) Vikas Marg,  (p) Krishna Nagar,  (q) Ajmeri Gate,  (p) ITPO area.

 

Delhi Police regulates parking by taking the following actions  :-

 

·  Foot patrolling

·  Main traffic corridors are maintained as “no parking” areas

·  Boards are erected indicating no parking areas

·  Mobile patrolling by officers

·  Deploying cranes to tow away vehicles violating no parking areas

·  Spot prosecution and challaning

·  Issuing traffic notices against erring drivers

·  Educating the public by putting “obstructive parking” stickers

·  Identifying parking spaces for local bodies

·  Advising shopkeepers to allow parking for customers

 

TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT :

 

The Transport Department has been taking effective steps for improvement of the public transport system in Delhi with a view to reduce dependence on private vehicles including two wheelers and cars. An Operating Plan was formulated in October 2002 with a view to effectively address the transportation problems of Delhi. The plan was formulated after a series of wide ranging consultations with the stakeholders comprising of policy makers, major providers of services, commuters, financial institutions, academicians and experts.

 

Some of the measures taken for the improvement of the public transport system in Delhi under the Operating Plan are highlighted below: -

 

The bus fleet size has been augmented. At present, the Stage Carriage fleet has been augmented to 7000 on Stage Carriage routes of which 2700 are operated by DTC. Another 2100 CNG buses on the chartered services and 4200 mini buses supplement this. Efforts have been made to improve the efficiency of the bus system by plying on a Unified Time Table (herein after referred to a UTT) and rationalization of routes. The State Transport Authority is working towards achieving UTT amongst the DTC and private buses.

 

A committee under the chairpersonship of the Chief Secretary was constituted in the year 2002 to consider various alternatives for the public transport in Delhi. The Committee studied the various transport systems and submitted a report on Sustainable Transport System in Delhi wherein, interalia, recommendation was made for the implementation of two mass transportation systems, namely, High Capacity Bus System (HCBS) and Electric Trolley Bus System (ETBS).

 

The High Capacity Bus System would be a unique bus system of its kind for the city of Delhi. In this system the buses move in a dedicated carriageway and is projected to reduce congestion by 20 % to 30%. Further, introduction of low floor buses on these corridors would ensure faster boarding and alighting.

 

While seven corridors, five for High Capacity Bus System and two for Electric Trolley Bus System have been identified; it has been decided to start work and complete one corridor of High Capacity Bus System on priority basis, which is from Dr Ambedkar Nagar to ISBT via Mool Chand . 5.5 kilometers of this corridor are planned to be made operational in the first phase. Depending on the success of the traffic management in the corridor, the scheme will be extended and replicated in other corridors also.

 

Delhi Metro Rail Project has been planned to cater to the demand of the public transport up to the year 2021 into a network comprising of 245 kilometers. At present Phase I of this project is being implemented through the DMRC consisting of the following three lines :-

 

          Line 1    Shahadra –Trinagar-Barwala                  28kms    21 stations

          Line 2    Vishwa Vidyalaya-Central Sectt              11 kms  10 stations

Line 3   Barakhamba Road- Connaught-Dwarka    22.8kms 22 stations

                                      TOTAL                      61.8 kms  53 stations

 

Of this, 39 kilometers is under implementation and 21 kilometers is expected to be completed by the year 2005. The line from Shahadra to Tis Hazari comprising of 8.5 kilometers has already been commissioned in December 2002 and is catering to 30,000 passengers per day. Another line of 4 kilometers from Tis Hazari to Trinagar has also been commissioned in October 2003. the completion cost of phase I has been estimated to be Rs 10,570 crores. The expected ridership, in the year 2005 is 21.82 lakhs passenger trips per day. The system is capable of running trains at two-minute intervals. The unique feature of the Delhi Metro once completed would be its integration with the other modes of public transport, enabling the commuters to conveniently interchange from one mode to the other. It is expected to emerge as a safe, reliable and comfortable mass transport system.

 

Thus the effort of the government is to augment the public transport system and to make it comfortable and commuter friendly so that more and more private vehicle owners are weaned away to make use of the public transport. This is more likely to restrict the increase in the numbers of private vehicles on the roads of Delhi than any other measure, and consequently, the need for more and more parking spaces will also diminish.

 

MUNICIPAL CORPORATION OF DELHI  :

 

MCD has many parking areas in its control and there are 70 parking sites of which 34 are under litigation. In order to get rid of the litigation, a transparent policy has been adopted to manage parking sites. This is working well and will be expanded to cover all the parking sites in its jurisdiction. As per this policy there are three categories of contractors of A, B and C categories. Having an annual turnover of Rs 2 crores, Rs 50 lakhs and Rs 25 lakhs respectively. In addition, MCD will make modern parking systems in the following locations : a) South Extension Markets I and II  and residential area, b) Karol Bagh Market, c) Greater Kailash M Block Market, d) Vasant Lok Community Center. MCD will promote pedestrianisation of markets in collaboration with the market associations. This is being done successfully in Defence Colony Market and the project is under implementation. MCD is promoting the new concept of Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) to create new parking systems. Since these systems require lot of finance, MCD will levy parking charges as misuse charge on all vehicles, which use MCD roads for parking. This is being considered by the Corporation and it would be implemented from next financial year. This would enable MCD to collect Rs 25 to 30 crores annually which would be used to finance modern parking systems.

 

 (B)    PARKING CHARGES  :

 

          The issue of parking charges has been discussed at length and it has been decided that parking charges should be made flexible from area to area. This would enable higher parking charges to be levied in particularly problematic areas and reduce the congestion. This would mean that a new system of auction of parking sites would have to be evolved which enables the manager of the parking lot to charge higher fees wherever it is feasible. In order to ensure that the parking contractor does not fleece that vehicle owners a range of fees would be fixed. This policy would be implemented from next financial year after discussion and finalizing its details. Prima facie there is no objection to the charging of differential parking charges in order to encourage people not to park on the surface wherever underground and  multi level facilities are created and exist. This is being done in the project in South Extension and it would be extended to other areas too.


 
(C)    FINANCING PARKING INFRASTRUCTURE  :

 

This is an important area because creating parking spaces is not a commercially viable activity and new methods have to be found to finance the parking infrastructure. New financing techniques are being explored in collaboration with financing institutions like Infrastructure Development Finance Company. Bringing parking projects to financial closure is complex and difficult because the projects are of long gestation and the returns are slow and uncertain. Parking charges are highly elastic and can change drastically. Transport department would examine the levy of   a congestion tax, which would go to fund the proposals for creation of better public transport infrastructure. The congestion tax could be area based and could be levied on vehicles entering specific areas as is the practice in many parts of the world. Financing of parking places is the biggest challenge and needs innovative projects in collaboration with financing companies and developers.

 

(D)    PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT CONTROLS :

 

This is primarily the area of DDA and the current planning norms leave much to be desired. The optimum utilization of land for enhancing parking spaces is not being done. For example the Delhi Transport Corporation and
Transport Department have large areas of land which are not being used. Planning norms should enable the innovative use of land to finance parking infrastructure. For example commercial use of land could finance parking infrastructure as is being done effectively in Mumbai. But there is no clear policy in this regard and the current policy of allowing only 30 % for commercial use is too rigid and does not take account of site specific requirements. Open areas could be used for creating underground parking facilities without disturbing the green areas on the surface. Kerb side parking could be better planned by reducing the kerb heights of the pavements as is the practice all over the world, instead of constructing grills along the pavements to prevent people from crossing and restricting their movements. There is a huge second hand vehicle market developing in Delhi which needs to be planned on the fringes of the city. The DDA would have to address all these issues in its planning policies in the next master plan.

 

(E)     PEOPLE’S CO-OPERATION  :

 

          People’s cooperation is essential to instill a sense of discipline to obey traffic and parking regulations. For example if people do not use parking meters and deliberately violate the law, the installation of parking meters would be a futile exercise. The creation of parking infrastructure requires not only funds and technology but also cooperation of the users i.e the vehicle owners. Indiscriminate parking in front of their business and personal places in violation of parking norms can defeat any effort. This is a difficult aspect but it can be achieved by involving market associations, residents associations and interest groups who are keen to make Delhi a good place to live in. New concepts like car free day need to be promoted by such interest groups. But for any policy to succeed it is important that all the aspects of the problem are addressed in a coordinated manner and in a fixed time frame.

 

                   The five aspects of parking as stated above, if approached in a coordinated manner would go a long way in creating an environment for organized parking spaces to be created and the present parking chaos would be a thing of the past. Not only is action required from the different government agencies, citizen discipline needs to be invoked to make plans a success. Awareness campaign about the problem of parking and area-based solutions are key elements in this exercise.