No parking fee in Khan Market till June 6: Court

June 3rd, 2011 - 11:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Friday granted a stay till June 6 on the New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) decision to levy a vehicle parking fee in central Delhi’s Khan Market.

Justice S. Muralidhar, in its interim order, said: “Considering that at one stage the Khan Market Traders Association (KMTA) expressed its willingness to compensate the NDMC for possible revenue loss on account of non-introduction of paid parking, this court considers it appropriate to give the KMTA one last opportunity, till June 6, to convey to the NDMC its willingness to pay a monthly licence fee of Rs.534,207.”

“If they do so, they will be permitted by the NDMC to manage the parking in Khan Market for a period to be decided by the NDMC on the terms and conditions laid down by the civic agency, which would be no different from the terms and conditions governing other parking contracts of the NDMC,” said the court.

If the KMTA does not convey its willingness by June 6, the status quo order passed by this court April 8 this year will automatically stand vacated, it said.

The traders of the market approached the court against the NDMC`s decision to charge parking fee in the market.

During the hearing on the traders’ plea, the court was told that the NDMC decided to charge for parking on the basis of an advice from the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) that doing so will reduce pollution.

Traders’ counsel Sanjiv Sachdeva said that “the NDMC’s decision is discriminatory as there are various areas in the NDMC zones where free parking is still permitted”.

“The market complex is visited by high-profile clientele comprising diplomats, politicians, judges, high government officials and, as a result, the market is under constant scrutiny with regard to the facilities and amenities available,” the traders added, protesting against the parking fee move.

The court’s attention was also drawn to the fact that till now there was no parking mafia in the market but the NDMC’s attempt to charge for parking might lead to a mafia mushrooming in the area.

Parking at the market has been free for the past 60 years. The tender for the paid parking has been awarded to a private company. In their petition, the traders have also sought an order to quash the civic agency’s decision to award the tender to a private company to run the paid parking system.

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