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Karol Bagh decongestion: After pedestrianisation, now parking fee hike to discourage use of cars

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Seeking to promote use of public transport and make commercial areas pedestrian-friendly, the north corporation has hiked parking fees for using a Karol Bagh street in this popular marketing zone in Delhi.
The move comes right after a stretch of Ajmal Khan Road in the area was made pedestrianised on Wednesday.
Senior North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) officials Saturday said, the approval for the project and on parking fee hike was taken just before the elections dates were announced.
Ajmal Khan Road for decades has been clogged with traffic and haphazard parking leading to discomfort for visitors.
"This project had been first conceptualised in 2010 but could not take off for some reasons. So, we picked up this zone, as soon I took charge at NDMC, and we engaged with market associations and created off-street parking spaces by utilizing old, defunct municipal spaces," NDMC Commissioner Varsha Joshi said.
On Wednesday, visitors taken by surprise, when they found a stretch of the nearly one-km road, decongested, and pavements lined with benches and the street decorated with flower pots.
"About 600 metre of the Ajmal Khan Road has been pedestrianised, rest of it being done. People were taken by surprise, as we did most of the work at night time, from installing benches to painting kerbs, etc, she said.
The street has been marked with yellow and white strips demarcating space for hawkers. Besides, bollards have been put at the entry points of Ajmal Khan Road on Pusa Road and Arya Samaj Road to restrict entry of vehicles to the road.
Joshi said, the project could not have been executed without arranging for alternative parking spaces, and so, off-street parking zones were built in a couple of places nearby, adding, the idea is to enhance shopping experience and encourage walking among people.
In pursuance of its pilot project to decongest Karol Bagh and disincentivise use of private cars, the NDMC has increased the surface parking rates on portion of Arya Samaj Road.
The civic agency has increased the parking charge for cars from Rs 20 to Rs 40 for the first hour. For the second hour, the charge will be Rs 50; between two and three hours, the rate will be Rs 60; between three and five hours, it will be Rs 70; and for over five hours, the charge will be Rs 300.
Also, instead of perpendicular parking, parallel parking is being implemented to give more access of the Arya Samaj road to pedestrians, the commissioner said.
The Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation has also launched a similar project to remove vehicles from Chandni Chowk, and work on which is currently underway.

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First Published: May 04 2019 | 6:45 PM IST

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