Urbanisation

EPCA comes out with parking management plan for Delhi

In report, agency flags free parking on public land, multiplicity of agencies to be key cause of congestion and parking menace

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Monday 01 April 2019
Representational Photo: Getty Images

After the Supreme Court, on March 6, 2019 directed for a joint meeting of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, municipal bodies, secretaries of the transport department and Delhi Police etc, to prepare a parking plan for the capital; the EPCA has put forth its recommendations in a report.

Stating that “the Delhi government may be directed to notify the Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Rules, 2017,” the EPCA stressed on joint management of parking spaces to “ensure that there is coordination between different road types — service roads and residential lanes and commercial and mixed land use areas.

In its report, the EPCA assessed the state of residential parking in Delhi and observed that even though some Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) have demarcated parking lots and are levying extra charges for keeping a second or third car, free parking on public land continues to be a city-wide menace.

The agency highlighted a “serious crisis of night-time parking, which was in turn leading to obstruction on roads and problems with the movement of emergency vehicles, including ambulances, fire engines, etc.”

Lack of regulation or charges over parking on public land also adds to the menace, as most car owners, in order to avoid parking charges, shift to parking on the streets adding to congestion on the road.

Assessing Delhi government’s proposal of building multi-level car parking, it said that Multi-Level Car Parks (MLCPs) remain under-utilised. “This is because there is no parking charge on public land… and because parking in residential areas is not regulated or priced. There is, therefore, no incentive to use the multi-level parking lots or to pay for these,” states the report.

Further, it makes note that the MLCPs are working at a loss, and these are just operational costs which “do not account for the price of land, which is exorbitant as these parking lots are located in prime residential areas.”

On the issue of land availability, the report says that “the policy must be designed to restrain the growth of demand, as much as it is designed to manage the supply.” It also notes that car users enjoy higher parking subsidy than bus users for cost of journey.

The report after the meeting convened by the EPCA on March 14, 2019 with South Delhi Municipal Corporation, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Traffic Police and Delhi Transport Department.

Some of the key recommendations listed in the report are:

  • Implementing agencies are unanimous that residential parking will have to be regulated and managed
  • Parking spill over from residential buildings will require management
  • Multiplicity of responsibility is at the core of the problems of governance in the city and parking regulations must not add to this
  • Pricing for residential parking should be determined jointly by the local agency and RWA/shop-keepers association but it must be based on the principle of charging differential and higher rates for additional cars
  • The local parking plan must ensure that there is provision for movement of emergency vehicles and green areas, parks and footpaths may not be allowed to be used for parking
  • The Delhi Police may be directed to greatly improve enforcement against illegal and unauthorised parking through state-of-the art equipment, including cameras and automated challans

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