Parking policy in India: Getting the principles right

 Parking is one of the essential components of Development plans of various cities in India. • The total number of cars produced in India touched 15 million in 2010 while the road based traffic volume is set to increase to 12456 passengers- kilometres in 2030. • Increasing demand for automobiles is not correlated by a corresponding increase in road infrastructure. This has the effect of increased strain on roads leading to traffic jams and accidents. The average speed of a truck on Indian roads is 25 km/hr and it is only able to travel a distance of 250- 300kms per day compared to 600-700 kms travelled in western countries as per an IIM Kolkata Study. • All vehicles produced in the country need space to park somewhere. As per Indian Road Congress (IRC) Standards, a vehicle takes 25 sqm of space on an average The situation is such that on any given working day approximately 40% of the roads in urban India are taken up for just parking the cars.

2. • These land spaces are generally in prime locations where the market value would be huge. Parking is a major concern when it is not able to accommodate the ever increasing traffic volume, keeping in mind that parking space are public spaces. • The problem has been further exacerbated by the fact that nowadays even people from low income group are able to own cars. The number of families with cars has become much more than what the country is able to manage.

3. Current Approach • India does not have a comprehensive law relating to parking than a nation- wide general policy. Generally, laws related to parking address parking regulation and enforcement. The National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) of India devised by the Ministry of Urban Development in 2006 sets the tone for parking in India. • It mentions that land is a valuable commodity and that parking fees shall reflect the market value of the land utilized for parking. At the same time it directs the State governments to make suitable amendments to building rules to provide adequate parking spaces. Determination of parking space is a state subject and divested to urban local bodies through the process of decentralization. • The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM), the flagship scheme for city development envisages formulation of parking policies for every city. The Ministry vide its Notification dated 28th March, 2007 directed all states to incorporate specific provisions on parking in various cities and towns in tune with local conditions.

4. • In a recent Delhi High Court decision in Khan Market Traders Association v. Union of India , the Delhi High Court approving the Parking policy framed by the Environmental Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) emphasized that "private vehicle owners must pay the cost of the use of public spaces required for parking" and further that "parking policy cannot be based on the increase of parking supply, but on restricting the availability of parking in the city and strict enforcement to ensure against misuse". • Enforcement of parking rules is the mandate given to Traffic Police who has the power to fine, lock and even tow a vehicle found violating the traffic rules. Section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 empowers the traffic police to levy a fine of Rs 100 for a single offence and Rs 200 for repeated offence relating to parking.

5 . Violations related to Parking • Obstruction of traffic (Parking obstructing movement of vehicles on road) • Obstruction of pedestrian movement (Parking in pavements) • Parking in No-parking area/zone (Parking in areas prevented) • Wrongful parking.

6. Why parking is bad in India • Unfortunately, due to lack of resources and technological intervention to monitor parking, enforcement has become weak in most of the cities in India. • There is a limit to which a traffic police can make people abide by the rules. • It is inevitable that people, especially car/bike owners need to comply with the traffic rules and comply with the parking regulations • The parking fees in India are one of the lowest in the world with the Indian states of Delhi figures among the lowest in the world with 24hr. Rate of $2.95 (Rs 200) compared to New York and Hong Kong have excessively priced parking topping the list of the most expensive list to park your vehicle at monthly rates of $55 and $ 60 respectively as per the Survey. • Violation of rules related to parking in India is pretty much common due to no strict penalty against them. • The fine for illegal parking or in No-parking zone is very less. • Most of the popular places don’t have adequate space and rules for parking. Also no government body to manage the on-road, illegal parking.

7. Parking Rates of a car in India & other countries DURATION NEW DELHI NEW YORK HONG KONG Up to 1 hour $0.29 $8 $24 Subsequent hour $0.14 $15 $40 24 hour $2.95 $55 $60 Monthly Pass $22.18 $70 $1400

8. Impact of On-street parking in India This is due to the unrestricted entry of private vehicle in market areas.

9. Parking in other Countries.

10. Concluding Suggestions Technological Suggestions • The laws and rules relating to traffic needs to incorporate provisions relating to parking which helps in better utilization of parking space and monitoring of parking. (like different parking models as in other countries). • Fixing limited parking space in buildings and monitoring of building rules violations related to parking need to be stepped up. Issuing of residential permits as in Amsterdam, producing of proof of parking space while buying vehicle as in Japan, providing pedestrian facilities as in Breda, Netherlands are some of the global examples which can be cited to understand the shift in the mindset from laying more roads and creating more parking spaces. • Prioritize parking in the following order: physically disadvantaged, residents, short-term visitors or commercial activities, long-term parkers such as work commuters.

11. •Encourage and promote common public/shared/priced parking no matter who owns it and where. •Parking management strategies may include designating on-street parking areas based on the traffic volume of the streets, efficient utilisation of the existing parking lots. Simple Suggestions •The persons managing the parking need to be empowered and given the right to penalize for parking violations. This shall include fining, locking and towing. •Various intervention mechanisms like hiking parking fees, congestion taxes, restricting parking, proof of parking needs to be done on a case-to-case basis. •Minimize the impact of on-street parking and encourage off-street parking (particularly for long-term parkers, such as commuters). •Improve safety for pedestrians by reducing illegal parking and opening additional public space for pedestrians and cyclists. •Utilize fees and fines from parking to invest in the building of car parks and to improve public transport •Encourage public transportation more instead of private while going for job or shopping.

12. •Restrict vehicles to some distance like in market areas or narrow streets where there is no provision for parking. •Totally ban the vehicles to enter the crowded places. •Strict penalty should be there in case of violation of rule. •A time limit should be fixed for on-street parking.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.