Parking problems in Delhi: Directions by Supreme Court

Till the late 1970s motor cars were the prerogative of the rich. Most people who could afford motor cars lived in houses with drive­ ways and garages. But as the economy of the country has improved and the earning capacity of people has risen there are more and more vehicles on the road. At the same time due to paucity of space and the astronomical rise in land prices the size of dwelling houses has become smaller and smaller. The biggest casualty in this conflict between increasing number of cars and dwindling availability of land is “parking space” for vehicles. Even in those houses which had garages, these were converted to rooms utilised for other purposes. Then cars started getting parked in drive­ways but as the number of members of the households expanded, from drive­ways the cars have now spilled over to the roads outside the house. This is not the only problem. The municipal authorities, for reasons best known to them, without carrying out any study with regard to the carrying capacity of the colonies/areas/towns/cities/metropolises are permitting additional constructions including additional floors in these colonies. Setbacks are being decreased or abolished. The constructed area is rising vertically and horizontally. Resultantly where, about 50 years ago, there was a single storey house with one family and one car, there is now a four storey­ structure, if not higher with may be 8 flats and 16 cars if not more. This has created many problems and one of the most serious problems is that of parking.

In view of the above discussion Supreme Court issued the following directions:­

1. We direct 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 ensure that the pavements are made usable by 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 authorities may also consider framing rules to discontinue municipal services to repeat encroachers.

2. We direct that the draft rules of the Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules 2019 be notified at the earliest and not later than 30.09.2019. List for compliance on 04.10.2019.

3. 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.

4. The Govt. of NCT is directed to ensure that 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.

5. We direct 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.

6. The Govt. of NCT of Delhi, the municipal authorities and EPCA are directed to consider the viability and effectiveness of introducing RIFD 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 30.09.2019 and for this purpose let the matter be listed in Court 04.10.2019.

7. After the reports on the pilot project are received further directions shall be issued.

List this matter on 13.01.2020.
[Source: M.C. Mehta vs Union Of India by Supreme Court on 2 September, 2019]

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