A San Diego-based woman and her daughter, who had come to India as tourists and landed at the famous Sarojini Nagar for shopping, faced the shock of their lives when they found that their car had been towed away by the police.
When Mary Benny Williams and her 21-year-old daughter asked the people about their car, an Alto, they were informed that the traffic police has towed away her car as it was parked on the road near the busy South Delhi marketplace.
The police had acted in accordance with a recent order of the National Green Tribunal, under which they were liable to pay a penalty and appear before the green panel in case of non-payment of the amount.
Williams claimed that there was no signboard in the market indicating that parking was banned and she had reluctantly parked her vehicle on the roadside, along with several other cars there.
"There was nothing written there and no board of any kind which indicates that parking is not allowed. My car was one of the many cars which were parked on the road and I don't know why I am being made to run here and there.
"This is the first time I am coming to the court and I am shivering with fear. I am ready to pay the fine if I have defaulted the law of the land but when there is nothing written there, then why should the civilians suffer," she told the tribunal where she appeared today.
Williams, who appeared before a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, took note of her submissions and directed the New Delhi Municipal Council to put a board indicating ban on parking within two days from today.
The NGT had on November 17 banned parking in the market and said the violators would be fined Rs 5,000 as environmental compensation, in addition to the fines mentioned under the Motor Vehicles Act.
The green panel had directed the shopkeepers and the shoppers to park their vehicles at the multi-level parking lot built by the NDMC, which remains open round-the-clock.