New Delhi: When nothing comes for free in the nation’s capital, shoppers in Khan Market will still enjoy free parking. Khan Market Traders Association was allowed by Delhi High Court, led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul to maintain its parking by its own. The court ordered the association to pay Rs 5.34 lakh as monthly fee to compensate the revenue loss suffered by the NDMC due to free parking. Sanjiv Mehra, president of the association in response to the court order said that “We are going to pay the NDMC and keep the parking in our jurisdiction. Parking will be free at least for now”.
Following a direction of the Environment Pollution Control Authority, NDMC decided to charge parking fee in Khan Market from April. Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) stated that charging steep parking fees will make shoppers avoid bringing their cars to shop in the market thus reducing the pollution level in the areas. In response to NDMC, the traders association of Khan Marked replied that parking fee has nothing to do with pollution.
The NDMC urged the High Court to transfer the possession of the land from the traders to NDMC. The HC after hearing a petition filed by Khan Market traders Association transferred the land to the traders. The court gave the traders freedom to charge for parking in areas including the Prithviraj Lane Market. The High Court bench also told the land and development office (L&DO) to discharge around two acres of land near Khan Market area so that NDMC can develop an underground parking later.
Khan Market is ranked as the costliest retail location in India with over 350 shops and since 1950’s parking here has been always free which is managed by some 25 staff. With the court orders, traders here will be spending around Rs 1600 to keep parking free in Khan Market.