Parking in Delhi: Hefty charges, stringent rules – AAP government’s ambitious policy may irk L-G

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New Delhi | Published: August 24, 2018 10:13:44 AM

The government, it is learnt, is all set to notify the parking policy without Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s final nod. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has categorically said that the final notification file will not be sent to the L-G.

delhi parking Arvind KejriwalThe ambitious parking policy aims to check parking menace in the national capital. It will regulate parking and make it chargeable even in the city’s residential areas, and will also link parking charges with the levels of pollution.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s decision to go ahead and notify its parking policy could potentially set the stage for another cold war between the CM’s office and the Lt Governor. The government, it is learnt, is all set to notify the parking policy without Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s final nod. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has categorically said that the final notification file will not be sent to the L-G.

“It is not a reserved subject. L-G is bound by aid and advice of the council of ministers. Files need not travel to him.” AAP’s contention that the L-G’s nod is not needed in rolling out the policy comes on the back of the July 4 Supreme Court verdict which had limited the L-G’s role considerably, casting away the need to have his concurrence on every matter.

Earlier in January, the draft policy was issued by the city government in January and it bore the L-G’s name. The transport department had, on January 29, “by order and in the name of Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi”, issued the draft “Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Rules, 2017”, inviting public feedback within one month. Subsequently, after a prolonged back-and-forth, the law department vetted the policy and returned it to Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot in July.

“The parking policy will be notified under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Under the Act, the competent authority to notify such rules in Delhi’s context is the Lt Governor. It may look like a minor technical point, but it is crucial for it to become a law,” an official said. Officials privy to the developments claimed that there are not many changes in the policy from its draft.

The ambitious parking policy aims to check parking menace in the national capital. It will regulate parking and make it chargeable even in the city’s residential areas, and will also link parking charges with the levels of pollution.

The SDMC had, in May, announced a host of rules. Once the rules are notified, the corporations will charge three times more for surface parking than at multi-level facilities. It will also disallow parking within 25 metres from roundabouts and traffic intersections. Under the proposed policy, on-street parking fee for the first hour would be priced at least twice as much as off-street parking. Apart from this, on-street parking fee will increase with duration to discourage long-duration of on-street parking, among other measures.

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