A solution to parking woes?

A solution to parking woes?

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) seems to have a plan to rescue the autowallahs from their woes of challans. The main reason of the recent strike by the city autorickshaw unions was the challans issued to auto drivers for standing in unauthorised parking lots.

The Multi-Level Parking Project of DMRC being worked on in Vaishali presently, may come as a ray of hope for vehicle owners. The UP Government has proposed development of the Multi-Level Parking-cum-Commercial Complex to be located along the road at Vaishali, Ghaziabad, Metro Station, which will benefit autowallahs too.

Foreseeing the increase in the number of vehicles on the road, which will translate into increase in the demand for appropriate parking space in the city, GoUP took an initiative towards the decongestion of the city. The project site is located along NH-58 near Dabur Crossing Road.

Himangshu Sharma, DMRC spokesperson tells Metrolife, “Near all the Metro stations a proper parking area is allotted for private vehicles. This land comes under DMRC proprietorship at the moment. But no autos can stand there for passengers.”
Special CP, Traffic, Muktesh Chander, says the multi-level parking system can be expected in more places in Delhi soon.

Given that it will be a while before these grandiose schemes take concrete form, there is every likelihood that the city autowallahs will have to brazen it out for a while longer. This, because government and civic bodies like Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Public Works Department (PWD), New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), DMRC, Traffic Police and Transport Department have done precious little about the non-existent auto stands.

As of now auto stands near Metro stations are on top of the agenda of the various autorickshaw unions who had participated in the strike.

Satish Kumar an auto driver from Munirka says, “Metro stations are ideal spots to pick up passengers, and be certain of the days’ earning. But if we wait a little longer than usual, unintentionally at times, we are issued challans.” Kumar says that they are not allowed to park outside Metro stations because it’s not an authorised area. Kumar hopes to find more autorickshaw-friendly stands, like the one outside Malviya Nagar Metro station, in the city.

Rajender Soni of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, an autorickshaw drivers’ union that played an important role in the recent strike says, “We have demanded for at least 5,000 auto stands and there are only 402. We face many monetary challenges when in the middle of the day, even when we have not earned anything, we have to pay for a challan. But we also need to pick up passengers for our livelihood; auto stands near Metro stations should be part of traffic rules now.”

Chander says, “We have promoted the ‘halt and go system’ near the metro stations. Also, some new parking slots for autos have been developed like the one outside Janakpuri Metro Station. We have forwarded our proposals to the DMRC, PWD and Transport Department for auto stands to be built near Metro stations, which will allow free passage in the carriageway.”

Chander cautioned, “However, any person, be it private vehicle owner or auto driver, parks or stands in a no parking area, he will be issued a challan. If you follow all rules, no challans will be issued.”

Dinesh Kumar, former engineer-in-chief, PWD says, “Most of the information regarding construction of parking lots for autos and buses are taken care by the transport department. Transport Department takes requisite  inputs from the MCD, DDA, DMRC and mostly the traffic police. But lack of space and available land is the main problem hampering the construction of authorised auto stands.”

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