New Delhi: The hike in parking fees to discourage use of private vehicles was rendered "ineffective" due to lack of public transport and laxity in acting against illegal parking, said the Environment Pollution - Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA).
The Supreme Court-appointed green panel made the observation in a letter to the chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan directing the immediate withdrawal of the hike imposed on November 8.
Importantly, the hike, which is a part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), is supposed to be in effect even when the air quality is 'very poor', not only when it turns 'emergency'.
But the EPCA lifted the measure on Thursday citing "problems" in its effective enforcement, which has led to parking on the roads, adding to traffic congestion.
"EPCA believes this is because of lack of enforcement and that enhancement of parking fee is an important car restraint measure. However, this measure has been made ineffective because of the lack of public transport and partly because of poor enforcement of illegal and unauthorised parking," EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal wrote.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot had on Wednesday written to Lt Governor Anil Baijal urging him to "reconsider" the hike effected to tackle alarming pollution levels, holding the move was proving to be counterproductive.
Hike in charges by municipal corporations has resulted in people resorting to roadside parking or using facilities at malls, Gahlot said.
"These problems will need to be sorted out urgently so that this measure can be reimposed with effective enforcement," Lal added....