Delhi parking policy stuck between Delhi govt and LG tussle
NEW DELHI: The national capital's first parking policy, which will restrict free parking in residential and public spaces and will enforce strict fines and criminal proceedings against vehicle owners found in violation of its provisions, has been stuck for more than 10 months, apparently caught in a tussle between the city government and the Lieutenant- Governor.
Officials say the file is pending with Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot even after its draft rules, titled Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Rules, 2017, were published in January after a nod from both Delhi Lieutenant- Governor Anil Baijal and the minister.
"The policy is pending with the minister since August. It has to go to the LG for notification," an official from the Transport Department stated on the condition of anonymity. The minister, the official said, was not sending the file to the L-G "because he claims it is not required" in view of Supreme Court's July 4 verdict stating that the Lieutenant- Governor does not have independent decision-making powers and is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. Soon after the verdict, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that the files of the Delhi government "need not be sent to the L-G for approval".
But a Transport Department official said that the officers "cannot issue a gazette notification without the L-G's approval" and if the government does not send the file for LG's approval, "it can't be notified" and implemented. "The parking rules are under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and the competent authority is the LG. So, the LG's nod is not only important but essential in this case," the official added.
According to the notification, issued on January 29, "the said draft will be taken into consideration by the Delhi Government on or after the expiry of 30 days from the date on which copies of the draft rules, publish in Delhi Gazette, are made available to the public". The 30-day time was given for raising objections or suggestions by the public in the rules to the Secretary-cum-Commissioner (Transport). The policy, when implemented, will restrict free parking in residential and public spaces and the parking charges will be decided by civic agencies in consultation with the RWAs.