The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that finding space to park vehicles in Delhi is a huge problem and even footpaths and roads are being used for it, creating problems for pedestrians and also holding back the prosperity of the national capital. The top court said people should not be encouraged to park vehicles on roads as it will lead to law and order issue.
It asked stakeholders, including the Environment Pollution Control Authority, to deliberate on the issue to find the best possible mechanism to deal with the problem.
The observations came from a bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta during the hearing on a issue related to the Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Rules, 2017. Advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as an amicus curiae, told the bench that the Delhi government has sought modifications in parking rules for residential areas.
She referred to an EPCA report filed in the top court and said during deliberations, it was agreed that deletion of certain provisions of parking rules would defeat the very purpose of the policy.
"In residential areas, parking problem is much more. There is no check on number of vehicles there. Delhi will never prosper unless you will do this," the bench told the counsel appearing for Delhi government.
"Those who do not obey the law will go scot-free and those who obey the law will suffer. We live in a country governed by rule of law. You cannot encourage people to not have parking in their house and park their vehicles on road," the bench observed.
It also deliberated on whether it would be practical to charge parking fee in residential areas.
"How can you demarcate that who is parking vehicle for residential purpose and who is parking for commercial purpose. There will be fights everyday. There will be boxing everyday. We do not want a situation where people will have to wrestle everyday for parking," the bench said.
It asked EPCA to convene a joint meeting of municipal bodies, secretary of transport department, Delhi police and others to suggest measures to deal with the issue, keeping in mind the present and future requirements of Delhi.
The court said a report of the outcome of the meeting be placed before it before March 29.
The Delhi government has sought to delete the provisions of the rules which says, "parking only in demarcated areas on public spaces and open surfaces in residential areas against parking charges to be decided by civic agencies on the basis of base parking charge. This civic agency will consult RWAs (resident welfare associations) before deciding the charge".
One of the provisions, which was sought to be deleted by Delhi government, said, "management and charge for residential parking must be designed to prevent parking spill over from neighbouring commercial areas. Parking for commercial establishments in residential areas shall be separately marked and charged for".
In its report, EPCA has urged the top court the Delhi government should be directed to notify the 2017 parking rules without modifications or deletions at the earliest.