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Relief for car buyers in Delhi as hike in one-time parking fees rolled back

The recent hike in car parking fees had angered bus and taxi operators.

Relief for car buyers in Delhi as hike in one-time parking fees rolled back

NEW DELHI: In a big relief for car buyers in Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal government on Monday rolled back its order of an 18-fold hike in one-time parking charges for cars and annual fees for commercial vehicles from January 1, 2019. 

The order in this regard was passed by Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Monday.

''Transport dept has been directed to withdraw the order dt 21.12.2018 reg increase in parking charges in South/East/North Delhi Municipal Corporations. Owners of Commercial/Non commercial vehicles need not deposit the enhanced parking fee till the matter has been examined afresh,'' a tweet from Gehlot said.

Delhi Transport Department had on Friday approved a recommendation for a hike in car parking fees by three municipal corporations of the city. 

The order issued by outgoing Transport Commissioner Varsha Joshi on Friday said that the new parking charges will be applicable from January 1, 2019.

The order would have seen car ownership costs in the capital shoot up by up to Rs. 75,000.

The transport department collects the parking charges on behalf of the municipal corporations, which claimed that it is meant for creating parking infrastructure in Delhi. 

The proposal by the three MCDs to hike the charges was pending for quite sometime and was cleared by the transport commissioner on her last day in office, an official said.

The order angered bus and taxi operators as the annual parking fee for different categories of commercial vehicles will rise from the existing Rs. 2,500-Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 10,000-Rs. 25,000.

According to the order, based on the cost of a vehicle, the one-time parking charge for private cars and SUVs will range between Rs. 6,000 and Rs. 75,000 - 18 times the existing rate of Rs. 4,000.

The process of charging the money during vehicle registration is prescribed through a notification of Union Urban Affairs Ministry not by the transport department, Joshi, who has taken charge as North Delhi Municipal Corporation's commissioner, told PTI. 

The transport department only acts as the post office in the process, she said.

The parking charges mechanism will be replaced by spot parking fees after new parking regulations are notified by the Delhi government, she said.

"Till then this mechanism will be applicable. So we followed an urban affairs ministry notification and issued these orders," Joshi added.

Displeased by the government order, transporters in the city threatened to stage a protest against the hike. "We will meet the Chief Minister and the transport minister on Monday against the hike because it will impact us negatively. If need be, we will resort to a strike also," said Shyam Lal Gola, spokesperson of State Transport Authority Operators Ekta Manch.

It's a very bad move that will pose hardships for all, including the commuters, president of Delhi Tourist Taxi Transport Association Sanjay Samrat said. "We will protest against the Delhi government," he said.

He added that they will meet the Lieutenant Governor to appeal for a rollback of the hike.