Rates hiked to discourage parking on Arya Samaj Road in Karol Bagh

 Pursuing its plan to decongest Karol Bagh Market, the North Municipal Corporation of Delhi increased rates of on-street parking on Arya Samaj Road from Friday.

This has been done on both sides of an 800m stretch from Punjab National Bank (PNB) to Metro Mall.

Earlier this week, the corporation had made the Ajmal Khan Road in the market pedestrian-only, by installing bollards to restrict entry of vehicles. The central avenue of this road was turned into a non-motorised vehicle (NMV) zone with a green belt at the centre.

Dedicated lanes were marked for vendors, e-rickshaws and cycles, and street furniture like garden lamps and benches installed.

Hoping to discourage shoppers from parking vehicles right in front of the shops and rather use the off-site parking facilities, the rates for the first one hour of parking on Arya Samaj Road have been raised from Rs 20 to Rs 40. The rates for parking of up to five hours have been increased from Rs 50 to Rs 70, and for more than five hours have been hiked to Rs 300.

Motorists will now have to compulsorily park their cars parallel to the road and not perpendicular or in any other haphazard way. For this, the civic body officials are also painting a yellow line on the road to mark the authorised parking area and putting up signboards with the new rates.

Parking attendants have been instructed on the changes and their hand-held devices have also been modified to issue parking slips accordingly.

“This is part of the entire Karol Bagh Market upgrade plan under the guidance of a high-power committee formed by the ministry of home affairs in 2018. Similar plans to decongest other popular markets of the city like Kamla Nagar Market and Sadar Bazar are on the anvil,” a senior North municipal corporation official said.

“The higher on-street parking model will be replicated on all the roads in Karol Bagh market — Padam Singh Road, Tank Road, Hardhyan Singh Road, etc. gradually. Shoppers will be hugely relieved to find these roads free of congestion, and vehicles can easily be parked at our Pusa Lane Road stack parking facility, Bank Street MC Primary School ground level parking, etc.,” another north civic body official said.

Karol Bagh market — known for its garments, shoes and jewellery shops — came up in the 1960s. Its daily footfall goes up to 30,000 a day and more on weekends and festivals.

Experts said this is a welcome step and cities around the world are pedestrianising their core areas. “If you look at Times Square in New York, the old areas of Istanbul, Seoul and Mexico, they have already done this. Market associations often resist such steps fearing sales going down. However, our research during Raahgiri Day in Gurugram and Connaught Place shows that shoppers love car-free areas and sales go up by 25%-30%. It benefits the local economy a lot,” Amit Bhatt, director-integrated transport, World Resources Institute India, said.

First Published:
May 04, 2019 05:24 IST

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