With a multi-level parking lot lying unfinished in Karol Bagh market for the last 10 years, shopkeepers are preparing to move “contempt of court proceedings” against the North Delhi Municipal Corporation next month, when the city will vote in the civic polls. The Beopar Mandal (Ajmal Khan Road) had in 2014 moved the Delhi High Court, and later the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the North MCD, asking that the civic body be directed to build a multi-level car park with a capacity for 2,000 vehicles at Shastri Park, Karol Bagh Zone.
“The North MCD has been dragging its feet on the car park for 10 years now. It only makes plans on paper but there is no implementation. Councillors visit and make promises but nothing is done. Our market lies neglected and in a horrible condition. There isn’t enough space for vehicles of over 800 shop owners and their staff, leave alone space for customers’ vehicles,” said Sanjeev Kapoor, general secretary of the Beopar Mandal.
“We are moving contempt of court proceedings through our counsel Deepak Khadaria against the North MCD because it had told the High Court in 2014 that it will complete building the multi-level parking by March 2017, but it has not even started work. It did not obey court directives, so we will move the court at the start of April,” Kapoor said.
Area councillor from the BJP Rajesh Bhatia cited problems in the tendering process as the prime cause for the delay. “We could not complete the construction by March because no favourable company was coming forward to engage in the public-private partnership. After several years of trying, we decided to build the whole parking complex ourselves. We have finished hiring experts and engineers for consultation, and work will begin soon.” When the civic body had submitted these reasons to the High Court three years ago, the court had observed, “… Proper effective planning is a must for effective implementation of such a project; however, that does not mean the matter can remain pending with the department for years on end.”
Major MCD parking projects have been lying unfinished in various stages of construction across the national capital including those at Subhash Nagar, New Friends Colony, Kalkaji, Rajouri Garden, Jangpura and Munirka. However, with the upcoming elections, councillors have been scrambling to give their respective areas a facelift. In Karol Bagh, Bhatia, last month, threw open a surface parking area which can hold 350 cars, for free.