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Supreme Court has laid down guidelines and invited the use of technology in an attempt to solve the parking issue currently gripping the country’s capital.

Court has directed that the Draft rules of Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules 2019 be implemented before the end of this September.

The Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta in MC Mehta v Union of India has noted that today love is lost between neighbours over petty fights for parking spaces. It held that proper parking policies will “impact town planning” and will also “lead to less pollution, less crime and a better and more dignified life which every citizen is entitled to under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”

The bench has suggested that there should be:

  1. ‘drop and go’ zones as also adequate parking facilities in all large transport hubs such as bus depots, railway stations, metro stations, airports, etc;
  2. adequate parking facilities at peripheral towns of Meerut and Alwar, which are connected with Delhi via Regional Rapid Transit Systems;
  3. adequate parking facilities at all institutional areas viz, universities, hospitals, government buildings, courts, etc., not only for officers and employees but also for students, patients, visitors, litigants, etc., as the case may be; and
  4. adequate provision for parking of transport vehicles like trucks, tempos, etc. In subji mandis, fruit mandis, and other markets where bulk items are transported.
  5. a separate lane for unhindered movement of vehicles like ambulances, fire tenders, police vehicles etc. This lane should be clearly earmarked on both sides by yellow fluorescent paint or strips and should not be permitted to be used for parking.

Court also stressed upon the significance of modern technology in ensuring maximum utilization of parking spaces and discussed the importance of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags for all vehicles coupled with the parking guidance and information system in transport hubs, institutions and commercial areas.

In addition, the Bench directed the Delhi Cantonment Board and municipal authorities to ensure that:

  1. while granting permission to build any structures, there is proper assessment of the parking needs for the next 25 years and requisite parking facilities are available;
  2. all the pavements, in the residential areas are cleared from all encroachments and ensure that the pavements are made usable by pedestrians;
  3. 15 days notice is given to encroachers to remove the encroachment from pavements; and
  4. encroachment on pavements is removed by the municipal authority at the cost of the encroacher, if he fails to do so himself. The cost incurred in this process shall be recovered from the encroacher as arrears of land revenue and the authorities may also consider framing rules to discontinue municipal services to repeat encroachers.

The Bench however clarified that it was “not oblivious to the hard reality that in certain colonies and areas parking of some vehicles will have to be permitted on the roads because the number of vehicles is much more than those which can be parked inside the houses.”

Court has directed the Delhi Government, the municipal authorities and the EPCA to “consider the viability and effectiveness of introducing RFID tags, parking guidance and information systems and last mile connectivity from parking spaces to commercial areas, institutions etc. and submit a report in this behalf” by 30th September. Court shall then issue directions on 4th October.

The matter has been listed for further hearing on 13th January 2020.

— India Legal Bureau

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