Car owners in Delhi will have to pay higher one-time parking charges from January 1, 2019 as the Delhi Transport Department has approved a recommendation for a hike by three municipal corporations of the city.
According to the order, the charges will now range between Rs 6,000 to Rs 75,000.
The transport department collects the parking charges on behalf of the MCDs, which claim 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 like 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," she added.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, however, denied having any information about the hike.
"I am not aware of any such decision," he told PTI.
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 Lt Governor to appeal for a rollback of the hike.
The hike, which will boost finances of the civic bodies, may hit the transport department as it is likely that the sale of vehicles may shift to the neighbouring states because there will be a huge variation of rates in Delhi and other parts of the country, an official claimed.