The acute shortage of parking space in major Indian metros such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru has led to various governmental and judicial bodies exploring ways and means to address the problem. An estimated 3,500-4,000 cars are registered in Noida and nearly the double the number in Bengaluru and Mumbai each month.
A concerned central government, in coordination with several stakeholders, is proposing a novel solution wherein prospective car buyers would have to produce evidence of a dedicated parking space in their residential complex before being allowed to purchase a vehicle. Moreover, there is also a proposed move to ask existing car owners to produce such an affidavit when they approach authorities for the fitness certificates of their cars.
How does secure parking space work?
The proposal is envisaged to solve (albeit to some extent) the problem by dissuading car owners from parking on the sidewalks and roads due to unavailability of parking space. In addition, the measure would be implemented by insisting on the production of an affidavit from the car owners before they can register their car. This policy, which is already being implemented in Noida post a court verdict, is part of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill that is pending before parliament.
Taking a cue from this, other metro administrators in places such as Bengaluru are exploring the feasibility of this solution in their respective cities. Apart from that, the metro corporation in Mumbai, a place where commuters and office goers have the option of a functioning, though shaky, public transport system, is grappling with the problem of parking space.
We may have not yet reached the breaking point as far as congestion is concerned but the way things are moving, we might be staring at chaos on our roads if solutions are not urgently found. This also serves as motivation for formulating the policy of securing parking space.
Will the solution work in reality?
While the policy is no doubt well-intentioned, the fact remains that in India, there is a yawning gap between policy formulation and implementation. Some urban experts are of the view that the proposal might sound ideal in theory but is impractical in reality. This is so because the authority that issues the registration certificates (Road Transport Department) is different from the one that validates the evidence (Metropolitan Corporations). Thus, implementation will rest on large-scale coordination.
This can lead to car owners falsely claiming secure space while in reality they may be either buying time or banking on the fact that actual verification might not happen at all.
In addition, the burgeoning number of cars registered each month in major metros calls for an increase in the number of governmental officials to handle the nuts and bolts of implementation. However, once codified into law, this policy can create headaches for law-abiding citizens. This means it would be in their interest to secure parking space before buying a car.
Lastly, it is not a bad idea for prospective car buyers to coordinate with car dealers for handling the modalities of securing parking space much like how builders often tie up with home loan agencies to smoothen the last mile connection.