Malls, hospitals and commercial office spaces will not be allowed to charge a fee for parking in the basement, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has said in a circular.
According to the circular, provisions of Delhi Master Plan 2021 state that basements at such places cannot be put to commercial use. “People are parking their vehicles on the roads near these places as the complex owners are collecting heavy parking fee, resulting in problems and accidents. Collection of such fee amounts to violation of sanctioned plans of the corporation. It will be treated seriously and North DMC will take appropriate action against them,” reads the public notice.
The move comes at a time when the South civic body, the most cash rich of the three corporations, has been struggling to enforce something similar in areas under its jurisdiction.
Malls and hospitals in the capital were allowed to build taller buildings, allowing for more floor area ratio (FAR), on the condition that they would provide free parking in their basements.
Despite the matter being discussed at least seven times in standing committee meetings in the last two-and-a-half years, the south corporation has been unable to implement several orders it has passed. It has issued four notifications to the same effect in the last two years, and notices have been sent to all malls in the last three months.
The North MCD, in its public notice dated November 15, has also stated that space earmarked for parking in malls, hospitals and commercial buildings is not covered under the FAR agreement and parking is meant to be free.
The lack of a concerted drive against erring establishments, SDMC officials say, is behind parking fee still being charged. A district commissioner, who did not wish to be named, said, “We issued a showcause notice to malls in our jurisdiction, asking why we shouldn’t take action against them. Many of them came up with the argument that MCDs do not have any jurisdiction inside their space. We told them they were allowed extra FAR by the corporation, which they denied. The issue is now with our legal cell to clear the confusion, after which concentrated drives will be started.”
Former standing committee chairperson of the SDMC Bhupendar Gupta, under whose tenure the underground parking at TDI mall in Lajpat Nagar was sealed in November last year, said, “There needs to be a regular drive, which is not being done. This shows a nexus between officials and mall managements.”
Leader of opposition in South MCD, Praveen Kumar, said, “The only option left with us is to seal them. The matter has been raised so many times, discussions held, notices issued, but nothing happens. It shows there is a lack of political will in executing it.”