In 2014, Delhi registered 165,316 cars and 385,102 two-wheelers. Parking demand from this new annual registration was bigger than 471 football fields
Rahul Dass | December 23, 2016
Planning to buy a car, then better have a place to park it. The government has proposed that buyers of new cars or motorcycles will need to prove that they have parking space. The proposal could not have come sooner for the national capital which is facing an acute parking shortage.
“In future, it would be mandated that no permission would be given to any construction without a toilet… no car or vehicle will be registered without adequate parking space availability certificate,” union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu was quoted as saying.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in 2015 analysed that Delhi was indeed in grip of severe parking crisis: Growing dependence on personal vehicles has worsened the parking crisis in the city. As of March 2015, Delhi had more than 26 lakh cars, the highest in any Indian state.
Cars remain parked for about 90 to 95 per cent of their useful life and make enormous demand on public space. If the demand for land for parking for an average car is computed, cars already use up 10 percent of the city’s urbanised area. This is 1.7 times higher than the total area of Dwarka.
“In 2014, Delhi registered 1,65,316 cars and 3,85,102 two-wheelers. Parking demand from this new annual registration was bigger than 471 football fields! Unlimited use of public space for parking and lack of public transport options has created a serious trap. Now people are killing each other over parking space,” the analysis said.
Incidentally, the city provides more land for car parks than for housing for poor people. “About 4.5 million slum population in Delhi occupies only 3 per cent of Delhi’s area. But the parking demand generated by cars makes demand on close to 10 per cent of Delhi’s urbanized land. Low-income housing dwelling needs 25 square meters (sq m) to 40 sq m of area. A car parking slot needs 23 sq m to 28 sq m.”
CSE demanded that municipal governments should implement local area parking management plan in different zones to maximise available parking spaces and not do only multilevel parking.
It also sought implementation of the current laws that bar parking on footpaths and curbsides that can compromise road safety. CSE review has further shown that already there are legal provisions to protect walkways and strategic parts of roads from parking encroachment. For instance, Motor Vehicle Act and Rules of road regulation 1989 states that every driver of a motor vehicle parking on any road shall park in such a way that it does not cause or is not likely to cause a danger, obstruction or undue inconvenience to other road-users.
Delhi might have the most extensive road network at 22 percent of its geographical area, but it is saturated and severely choked with vehicles, said CSE analysis. On some of the prominent arterial roads, cars comprise around 50 to 70 percent of the total traffic – but they carry only 17-20 percent of the travel trips. As a result, traffic speed has plummeted. A pilot study of Sim Air and IIT Delhi in South Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon and Dwarka had found that cars crawl at 4 kmph for almost 24 minutes in peak two hours and waste 200,000 litre of fuel for one million cars plying daily.
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