For a country like India, the parking woes never seem to come to an end. This is especially true for Indian metropolises. It is not unusual to hear people complaining about how long it takes just to find a parking space that can accommodate their vehicle. People will tell you, at length, how their colony has no common parking space for vehicles and how the lanes and the streets are perennially clogged, and how many skirmishes they have had with neighbours over parking troubles, how many times they’ve been woken up to take their car out or how many times they’ve had to create a scene on the road because the paucity of parking space made them late for important events.
The government was taking notice of these facts and in an attempt to address part of the problem, the Delhi government notified the draft parking policy, Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules 2019.
According to the new policy, while footpath parking is banned across the city, free parking will be provided in the residential areas. This draft parking policy has been in response to the astounding number of vehicles on Delhi roads and the crisis they are capable of causing.
The number of vehicles in the national capital increased to a whopping 1.09 crore by March 2018, including over 70 lakh two-wheelers, according to Delhi's Economic Survey 2018-19 report. In response to this enormous number, the Supreme Court had called out for an urgent review of the parking crisis in view of the rising number of vehicles in Delhi. Thus came the draft parking policy, which discourages on-street parking, bans footpath parking and at the same time, allows free parking in residential areas. In such a scenario it is best to equip yourself with a comprehensive motor insurance plan which keeps your vehicle safe in cities like Delhi.
Under the new draft policy, the rules are mostly based on the principle of the user paying for the benefit he or she is availing when it comes to parking. These rules are aimed at discouraging on-street and long-duration parking. How is this being done? For starters, on-street parking fee will be twice as high as off-street parking with an exponential increase in charges after the first hour. Moreover, on-street parking will not be allowed at least up to 25 metres from intersections on each arm of road. If this works out, the congestion problem might be addressed and the city may regain its aesthetic.
In addition to this, parking on footpaths, parks and green areas is now strictly prohibited, again, the emphasis is on the regulation of parking spaces. Traffic police will be responsible for towing away vehicles parked on 60-foot wide roads. In the case of other roads, civic agencies will be in charge. Towing charges and custody charges will vary based on the type of vehicle. It will be Rs 200 for two wheelers and Rs 400 for a light passenger vehicle.
The crackdown is also coming on aged vehicles. Petrol vehicles older than 15 years and diesel vehicles older than 10 years parked on roads will be seized.
Shared parking as a concept has been catching on if you haven’t noticed already. In the latest development of the draft policy, the bodies have now recommended adopting shared parking in all future residential and commercial projects in the city. For a city that has such an enormous space crunch, this provision could help deal with the problem of scarcity of land and its growing demand for various purposes.
Let’s look deeper into the provision. According to the policy, parking space is an optional good that is to be priced separately from the rest of the property. The policy uses the term ‘unbundled', which means that the parking space shall be sold or auctioned separately during disposal of the property and not as a package deal where parking is a hidden cost to the buyer who may or may not own a car.
What does this mean? As a buyer, you will be given the option to purchase the parking space separately during the application process for an apartment or commercial space. Of course, parking spaces are so precious, it makes sense to identify their commercial value. This exercise would reveal the true cost of parking to end-users and unsold parking spaces can be sold to municipal corporations to be used as a part of the public parking pool. It is this provision that can help make the implementation of this provision smoother. Once sold to municipal corporations, the shared parking facility would be available on short-term rental leases with the preference for the local residents, the policy states. The land is truly a resource in the metro cities, and this seems like a proactive approach to handling what could potentially become a monumental crisis. As such, owners of vacant plots in residential colonies and commercial areas could be authorized to allow parking on such land for parking against a fee.
The draft policy rules have provision for dynamic pricing mechanism. What does that mean? This means the fee will differ during peak and off-peak hours, the way many public transit systems all over the world do, including Delhi metro. The cost will be decided on the basis of the base parking fee, and then modified across timings. Those who park their vehicle on a public road despite staying in a building with stilt parking facility will have to pay twice the normal charges fixed for others. Vacant plots owners in the housing colonies can use these as parking places as permitted under building bylaws. More often than not, these laws look at parking laws and redefine them to make vehicle owners more aware and conscious of where they park.
As is clear from the above examples, differential parking costs seem to be a recurring theme in the draft policy. In keeping with that, civic bodies in Delhi are to levy one-third charges for multi-level parking facilities compared to surface parking rates. Parking within 25 meters from roundabouts and traffic intersections will be disallowed. The provision has been brought in to incentivize multi-level parking system and decongest the city. This could actually be a boon since much of the traffic jams on narrow roads are attributable to parking insufficiencies.
As far as auto-rickshaws and non-motorized vehicles are concerned, they will be given priority in on-street parking. Night parking space with charging points will be provided to e-rickshaws and other electric vehicles. Apart from this, special provisions have been made for parking for senior citizen and differently-abled. This bit is aimed at making the draft, and therefore the parking spaces, more inclusive.
Make sure you know the latest developments in the parking space — from the laws to the actual parking space structures you use.
You must also know the revised parking rules in India to properly park your vehicle anywhere in the country.
Read all about the New Motor Vehicle Act of 2019 to understand how to best take care of your vehicle.