Where the streets have no parking

Dilli Haat

Finding parking space around Dilli Haat opposite INA market in south Delhi continues to be a problem, with visitors struggling to find a spot for their vehicles.

“Dilli Haat is such a popular shopping destination that we go there every week.
However, the parking lots here are in a mess on weekends. There have been times when I have taken five rounds looking for a parking lot, only to go back home,” said Sangeeta Mehta.

For 20-year-old Drishti, Dilli Haat is a “cool” place to hang out. “But, driving to Dilli Haat on a weekend is a nightmare as there is hardly any parking space available. There are times when I have to park my car a kilometre away near a residential complex and walk till here. The authorities should take up measures to handle the rush,” said Drishti.

One of the problems that leads to congestion of the parking lots is that the “entry and exit” are the same for vehicles. “To avoid rush, separate entry and exit points need to be identified. Even if on a regular day there is little rush, the lack of management leads to a long queue of vehicles. Also, people are really impatient. They will start honking even if they have to wait for two minutes,” said Shubhash Mishra, who has been manning the market’s parking lots for seven years now.

“The capacity of the parking lots needs to be clearly defined. If 350 cars are parked in a space that has capacity to accommodate 250 vehicles, it will obviously lead to chaos,” Mishra added.

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is, however, mulling over plans to introduce online parking lots in the busy market area to resolve the current state of chaos.
The council has roped in Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System (DIMTS) to check the technical feasibility of the project and is awaiting its response by March-end.

For a long-term solution, talks are on to completely do away with surface parking in the Dilli Haat area and introduce underground car parking, said sources in the NDMC.
The INA market, which sees less number of visitors compared to Dilli Haat, also has few parking lots for customers.

“Most of the cars parked here are of the shopkeepers. There are times when we cannot accommodate customers’ vehicles due to lack of space,” said Mangeram, the parking attendant at INA market. The parking area here can accommodate up to 200 cars, he added.

“We are aware of the problem that motorists face in the market. We have written to the NDMC several times, who are in charge of the parking lots here, to see to the problem,” said Ramesh Bhutani, president of INA Market Traders Association.

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