City buzz: Delhi’s new parking rules, traders’ strike and a floating market in pics

URBAN NEWS ROUND-UP

Representational image: Cars parked outside Secretariat Building New Delhi. Pic: Wikimedia/CC BY 2.0

Delhi to pay for parking in residential areas too

In a bid to ease the stranglehold of traffic and discourage use of private vehicles, the Delhi government notified The ‘Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Rules, 2017’, which when implemented will require citizens to pay for parking in residential areas as well.

The new rules have been approved by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, and are likely to be implemented in March. The new parking rates for public and residential areas will be finalised by July.  

The minimum parking rates across Delhi will be fixed by a ‘Base Parking Fee (BPF) Committee’, headed by the transport commissioner. The BPF will be revised every year. The rates for surface and off-site parking lots will be decided in multiples of the BPF.

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According to the new rules, on-street parking will not be allowed 50 metres from intersections on each arm of a road. Dynamic pricing mechanisms such as peak and non-peak fees and an hourly exponential increase will also be introduced.

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Parking rates will be linked to pollution levels. “The multiples shall be doubled in case of ‘severe+’ or ‘emergency’ levels of ambient air quality under the Graded Response Action Plan notified by the Centre,” the rules say.

Source: Hindustan Times

The new rules also urge people to use the multi-level parking lots in the city. According to it,

“…surface parking for more than an hour will not be allowed within 500 metres of a multi-level parking lot and the area will be designated as a ‘no-parking’ zone. The rules, however, mention a clause for extraordinary situations. “In case some essential on-street parking has to be provided within the 500-metre zone, it will be priced exponentially, at least three times the on-street parking rates,” the rules state. Officials said that in some areas, multi-level parking lots are not filled to capacity but people park their vehicles outside illegally.”

Source: The Indian Express

‘Smart’ Parking: Kolkata eyes the digital route

Kolkata may not be in the list of 99 smart cities approved by the central mission, but it’s trying to take a similar approach to parking. An app named Smart Parking Agent launched by the Kolkata Police and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation seeks to ease parking woes by helping parking attendants to guide drivers to available slots in busy areas in the heart of the city. In the ongoing trial run, smartphones loaded with the app have been given to 100 parking attendants regulating parking in six of the busiest stretches in the city.

“According to Vineet Goel, additional CP (I), the app has been designed keeping carowners in mind. “At present, there is no way that a motorist knows if there is parking space available at a particular parking lot. Through this app, we will guide them to available slots and even redirect them to another nearby parking lot if the one in which he wishes to park his car is full,” Goel explained.

Using the app, even sergeants can now monitor whether a parking lot is running to capacity. “Each road will have a sector officer He will be moving around the parking lots to ensure that parking agents are not making extra parking space for a premium by illegally increasing the number of slots. “The idea is also to keep track of those cars that block up a parking slot for almost an entire day but do not pay accordingly. We want to make parking not only easier but also a democratic exercise,” said Goel.”

Source: The Times of India

Traders’ strike in Delhi

The traders’ community in the capital has been up against the ongoing sealing drive initiated by the Central-government rules municipal corporations. The civic bodies have cracked down on business establishments for misuse and unauthorised construction, in line with the directions of a Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee. However, traders’ associations claim that the court order is being used as a ploy to sideline fundamental provisions due to traders.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), issued a call for a two-day strike on February 2-3, demanding immediate relief from sealing. Lakhs of traders across Delhi’s major business areas such as Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, Sadar Bazar, Khan Market, Defence Colony, Greater Kailash, and many others downed shutters, leading to an estimated combined loss of Rs 3600 crore.

Meanwhile the Delhi Development Authority amended the Master Plan of the city to provide relief to protesting traders. Under the proposed amendments, Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of local shopping complexes (LSCs) would be increased to 300 per cent (from 180 per cent) and agricultural godowns on 12 metre wide roads would be regularised.

Despite the above move, traders seem determined to continue the strike over the weekend.

“This is just a proposal and unless we know the provisions under it, and till the sealing drives are completely halted and our demands are fulfilled, the bandh will continue,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), an umbrella body of trade groups.

Source: The Hindu

Policy to tackle urban challenges framed: Kashmir govt

The Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Nirmal Kumar Singh said that his government has drawn up a comprehensive policy for effective implementation of the flagship housing, sanitation and civic programmes to make Jammu and Kashmir a model state. The state has witnessed a surge in urban population, 60% of it in the twin capital cities.

“Revised Master Plan of Srinagar, 2035 has been placed in public domain and is likely to be notified shortly, while Revised Master Plan, 2032 of Jammu, Udhampur and Katra towns have been approved and an exercise for preparation of zonal plans is also being undertaken simultaneously,” he said. He said master plans for 24 towns of the state were at different stages of preparation.

Source: Financial Express

Water crisis in Gujarat cities

Major cities across Gujarat including Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara among other municipal corporations and municipalities will soon face cuts in water supply as the state reels under severe water crisis.

“Water supply to Ahmedabad, which receives 1420 million liters per day (MLD) from Narmada and Kadana dams among other resources, is expected to be cut by 200 MLD. Vadodara and Rajkot too are expected to face water supply cuts of around 50 MLD each. South Gujarat has 27% less water compared to last year so there is pressing need to rationalize use of water in Surat which gets the highest water supply per capita, ” a top source close to the development told TOI.

Source: The Times of India

India gets its first floating market in Kolkata

Inspired by Bangkok’s floating market, the Kolkata Municipal Development authority has set up a floating market operating out of boats on the lake in Patuli. This was a move to rehabilitate traders of the Baishnabghata-Patuli market who had been displaced from the area for extension work on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. Over 200 vendors currently sell fruits, vegetables, cereals and fish from their boats.

See the photos here.

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