Draft park­ing rules bold step in right di­rec­tion

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - METRO - (Mad­hav Pai is di­rec­tor, sus­tain­able cities, WRI In­dia Ross Cen­tre. He has more than 15 years of ex­pe­ri­ence lead­ing, de­sign­ing and man­ag­ing ur­ban trans­port pro­grams and projects in In­dia, Asia and the United States)

cles and not for sta­tion­ary ve­hi­cles. How­ever, by link­ing the fee for road­side park­ing to the du­ra­tion of park­ing, the rules rec­og­nize that road­side park­ing would be al­right only for short du­ra­tion and not for long du­ra­tion use.

A con­tentious is­sue would be the re­quire­ment that even for park­ing out­side their homes peo­ple will have to pay. This too is ap­pro­pri­ate as the space used is still pub­lic space. Of­ten res­i­den­tial colonies are so choked with parked ve­hi­cles that it is dif­fi­cult for any mov­ing ve­hi­cle to drive through the al­ready nar­row lanes.

Imag­ine a sit­u­a­tion where some­one has to be rushed to a hos­pi­tal at night and an am­bu­lance is un­able to en­ter the colony due to the right of way be­ing blocked by parked ve­hi­cles. This war­rants mea­sures that dis­suade peo­ple from us­ing the road­side, where lanes are of­ten oc­cu­pied by very old cars that are not re­ally be­ing used. The has­sles of dis­pos­ing old cars en­cour­age peo­ple to just leave them where they are.

How­ever, a steep park­ing fee would push them into dis­pos­ing such cars and free­ing up space.

A big chal­lenge will be in en­forc­ing these rules. Once peo­ple get used to get­ting some­thing for free, it is dif­fi­cult to ex­pect them to sud­denly pay for it. Be­ing such a large city, get­ting an ad­e­quately staffed en­force­ment team on the ground also may not be fea­si­ble. Per­haps an ex­ten­sive de­ploy­ment of tech­nol­ogy to lo­cate and pe­nal­ize park­ing vi­o­la­tions will be re­quired. In this con­text, It would be de­sir­able to have a pre­ced­ing doc­u­ment that ex­plains the ra­tio­nale for the rules and per­suades peo­ple about its ne­ces­sity. By them­selves, rules are threat­en­ing doc­u­ments that di­rect peo­ple to do some­thing or pay for it. As against this ini­tia­tive to ex­plain what is pro­posed to be done, and how it is use­ful for ev­ery­one, will go a long way in se­cur­ing a con­stituency of sup­port, and hope­fully bet­ter com­pli­ance.

SUSHIL KU­MAR/HT FILE

Road­side park­ing uses up pre­cious land, which is ex­tremely valu­able and has many com­pet­ing de­mands.

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