Supreme Court of India, ( Screen-grab copyrights: Hindustan Times)
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New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Delhi government to notify new rules on parking policy by September 30 and to ensure that while granting permission to build any structures, the proposed building has the necessary parking facilities.

A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta said that the Delhi government must ensure that while granting permission to build any structures, there is a proper assessment of the parking needs for the next 25 years and requisite parking facilities are available.

The court’s recommendation came as it directed that the draft rules of the Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules 2019 be notified at the earliest and not later than September 30.

“Once the rules are notified it shall be the duty of all concerned to ensure that the said rules are enforced in letter and spirit,” the court said and listed the matter for October 4 for compliance for its order.

The Transport Department has drafted Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules, 2019. The policy envisages area parking plans to be notified within four months from the coming into force of these Rules.

The court said that one heartening feature of this policy is that in its order of priority, the first priority has been given to pedestrians and cyclists, secondly to mass public transport, thirdly to emergency vehicles, fourthly to vehicles for differently-abled persons for their pick up and drop. Thereafter priority comes for personal motor vehicle parking, short-duration parking, on-street parking and overnight parking for transport vehicles.

Another important aspect of this policy is that it lays down that parking arrangements must not impinge on the free movement of traffic. It has other rules relating to the payment of parking fees and others.

This policy also encourages the use of open areas other than the designated green areas and parks near the colonies as parking lots on payment basis. Private parking is also encouraged where vacant land is owned by private parties.

The policy said that parking on footpaths is strictly prohibited.

In residential areas, it holds that a lane must be earmarked for unhindered movement of vehicles like ambulances, fire tenders, a police van and other emergency vehicles.

The court, in its order, also observed that modern conveniences bring with them their own problems as motor transport brought problems like pollution and lack of parking space and directed the New Delhi Municipal Corporation, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Cantonment Board to ensure that all the pavements in the residential areas are cleared from all encroachments and made usable for pedestrians.

“The persons who have encroached upon the pavements shall be given notice of 15 days to remove the encroachment and in case they fail to do so the encroachment shall be removed by the municipal authority/authority concerned at the cost of the encroacher which shall be recovered as arrears of land revenue,” the bench said in its order adding that the authorities may also consider framing rules related to this encroachers issue.

The court also directed the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and the municipal authorities to take into consideration what has been stated in the judgment while evaluating the feasibility and effectiveness of the pilot project. It also directed that Delhi Government, the municipal authorities and the EPCA consider the viability and effectiveness of introducing Radio-frequency identification tags, parking guidance and information systems and last-mile connectivity from parking spaces to commercial areas, institutions and submit a report in this behalf by September 30.

The EPCA in consultation with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has earmarked the area of Lajpat Nagar to run a pilot project to ease the problem of parking.

The court asked the EPCA to prepare pilot projects for Krishna Nagar and Kamla Nagar and submit a report on December 30. After the reports on the pilot project are received, further directions shall be issued, the court said.

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