Mess at marketplace

Jwala Heri in Paschim Vihar is one of the most congested markets in Delhi. Still it lets car owners park on the road, occupying half of it.

This is illegal, of course. Parking attendants, wearing orange jackets similar to New Delhi Municipal Corporations uniform, fool people by imposing arbitrary parking rates.Local councillor Sanjeev Nayyar says, “The designated space for parking is the area in front of the market. Permission for parking on roads was never given.”

But Deccan Herald finds not just cars but even trucks parked at unauthorised spot, like the front of a shopping complex. The unofficial parking attendants have not just encroached upon the area but they also charge what they feel like.

Minto, who is in the ‘profession’  for three years, proudly says, “We charge as per the standard rates declared by the corporation.” 

When asked about the “standard” rate, he says it's Rs 15 for two- wheelers and Rs 20 for four-wheelers. It can go as high as Rs 50 if the vehicle is parked for long hours.But a board, strategically placed where customers rarely look, clearly states the lower municipal corporation rates: Rs 10 as entry fee for cars and Rs 7 for scooters. For a full day, the rates are Rs 20 and Rs 15.

When the local councillor visits the area along with this reporter to park his vehicle, the attendant refuses to write the time on the parking slip. And the reporter also sees a car owner paying Rs 20 for parking for just 15 minutes.

“The parking space is nearly 30 years old. The area is a stronghold of some mafias. They are so clever that for two years they will fill the tender and get it passed. But they would continue to use the space for parking for the next five years,” says A K Mittal, a Paschim Vihar (West) resident.

Another resident says the attendants often fool the public, saying the parking rates have been “revised by the corporation”.

When asked if parking is allowed on the road, Minto brazenly says, “The Corporation itself drew a white line on the road to allow vehicles to be parked.” Nayyar refutes the claim.

“They themselves have drawn these lines to extend the area for parking,” the councillor says.

He has been raising the problem of parking at civic body meetings for past two months. “MCD officials have assured me that soon steps would be taken for correcting the situation. I would also ask the corporation to either mark the areas for free parking or have no parking at all.” 

He is awaiting an official response.  “As soon as the details are made available to me, I shall myself clamp down on these people,” declares Nayyar.

An official at the MCD ward, requesting anonymity, says, “There is connivance between these local mafias and police personnel. Despite the reminders from the councillor, no one is ready to act.”

According to Minto, his boss pays Rs 1. 60 lakh to the corporation every month. Minto gets Rs 200 per day from him.

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