The report was submitted by Navdeep Asija, who was also the Punjab government traffic adviser, before a division bench headed by Justice Surya Kant on Friday. The court had asked him to carry out a study on Chandigarh's traffic system.
Asija has said the municipal corporation (MC) proposal made in its meeting on October 29 to increase parking rates on the concept of dynamic parking system was well appreciated and based on scientific transportation engineering principles. Asija asserted parking was a commodity and not constitutional right.
"The MC is meeting only around 34% of its budgetary expenditure through internal resources generation, which was very much on the lower side. Our fixed deposits have dwindled to Rs 250 crore with an annual budget deficit of Rs 154.25 crore. This is further going to decrease as we have to invest around Rs 100 crore in the Jandpur pipeline to bring water into the city. We need to enhance our internal resource generation rather than cutting down resources like advertisement and parking," the report stated.
Criticizing the decision of the MC to disapprove the proposal to hike parking rates, Asija said such decisions only facilitate a few car owners. Referring to various orders of the high court regarding making Sector 17 car-free, Asija said such a move may kill the basic of mobility of Chandigarh.
Submitting the present parking system was highly subsidized for the 25.7% car owner households in Chandigarh, he questioned under which constitutional or legal provision such incentives were being extended to private car owners who transport 1.1 people daily on an average and take around 23 square metre of an urban space
Revenue generated from parking was used to fund zonal improvements that shift people from cars to walking, cycling and public transport all across the world. Navdeep Asija, the expert appointed by the high court, said revenue generated by 1 km of paid parking was sufficient to pay for footpaths along the same stretch and 10 buses to serve the area. At present, a car owner enjoyed free economic benefits of Rs 3,150 to 3,500 if the vehicle was parked twice in a premier commercial and residential area.
Navdeep Asija, the expert appointed by the Punjab and Haryana high court, said 57.5% households in Chandigarh have bicycles and only 25.7% own cars as per the 2011 census. According to the comprehensive mobility plan of Chandigarh prepared by RITES 2009, 17% of people in Chandigarh still walk, 11% use bicycle, 3% cycle-rickshaw, 11% buses and cars were only taking care of 15% the total trips generated in Chandigarh.
Car parking fees in top cities of the world
(Source: 2011 pricing reported in Michael Kodransky: CSE Parking Reforms for Livable city ITDP).
CITY| EUROS| RUPEES
Amsterdam | 5 | 320
London| 4 | 256
Stockholm | 3.87 | 248
Paris | 3.6 | 231
Copenhagen | 3| 192
Barcelona | 2.85| 183
Antwerp | 2.5| 160
Munich |2.5| 160
Budapest | 2| 128
Hamburg| 2| 128