Delhi HC asks traders to pay NDMC for free parking at Khan Market

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday gave a "last opportunity" to the Khan Market traders' association to either agree to pay a monthly license fee of Rs 5.34 lakh to NDMC before June 6 to ensure free parking of vehicles or the civic body would be allowed to charge for the same.

"This court considers it appropriate to give Khan Market Traders Association (KMTA) one last opportunity, up to 5 pm on June 6, to convey to to NDMC its willingness to pay the NDMC a monthly licence fee of Rs 5.34 lakh in which event it will be permitted to manage the parking in Khan Market for a period and on terms and conditions laid down by NDMC," Justice S Muralidhar said.

The court said that in case traders do not agree to compensate NDMC, the judicial protection, restraining the civic body from charging for parking, would go away.

Earlier, Justice Muralidhar had stayed the decision of NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) to stop the free parking facility in Khan Market and introduce paid parking by inviting tender.

"If KMTA does not convey its willingness by 5 pm on June 6, the status quo order will automatically stand vacated" the judge said.

The traders' association had earlier offered to compensate the loss to NDMC for allowing free parking but refused to pay Rs 5.4 lakh (Rs 1500 per shop) saying that it was on the higher side.

The association had contended "NDMC's decision is discriminatory as there are various areas in NDMC zones where free parking is still permitted."

The paid parking would encourage mafias, the traders' body had said.

The civic agency had taken the decision following the direction of Environment Pollution Control Authority to implement the paid parking facility in the market from April 1 but has deferred implementation of the decision for a week.

Parking at the market has been free for the last 60 years. The tender for the paid parking has been awarded to a private company, the petition had said.