Should We Limit the Number of Vehicles an Individual Can Own in Delhi?

Cars in Delhi

Cars in DelhiCar is not a luxury but a necessity these days. Being a girl you do not want to travel in a public transport, so you own a vehicle. You want to save time, you own a vehicle. You want convenience, you own a vehicle. Family’s work timings are different, so we need separate vehicles? You want to show off, you own a vehicle. You will agree with me that we all live with the attitude – How can my one extra vehicle add to the troubles of Delhi in terms of parking, traffic and environmental pollution? But think seriously, it does add to the problems.

Before going into the issue I will share my personal experience. My parents, not residing in Delhi, came to meet me. They came in their own hired taxi and seeing a vacant space the driver parked it just outside my home, in a parking lane. As I was also new to the place, I did not know that another resident uses that space to park his vehicle. By seeing our car he got furious. He did not show the courtesy of asking anyone about the parked car. He started shouting and abusing. Though he was calmed down by everyone including my parents but the very next day he came with his friends to fight with us. We did not react because fighting over a senseless issue is not a good idea. You might have experienced the same if residing in Delhi. This is what a single vehicle can do.

Increase in number of vehicles creating problems 

The growing number of vehicles in Delhi has aggravated the issue and given birth to many other issues like road accidents, road rages, traffic jam, hypertension. In 2013, 36 incidents of road rage were reported and in 2014, 20 such cases have been reported till August. The PCR receives near about 10-12 calls per day related to minor scuffles. Every single day 1,400 cars are added to the roads of Delhi. As compared to the last decade, the number of vehicles in Delhi has grown by 97 percent.

Delhi Economic Survey shows 135.59 percent rise the vehicular population between 1999-2000 and 2011-12. In 1999-2000 the vehicular population was 31.64 lakh whereas in 2011-12 it touched 74.53 lakh.

Parking is another big problem that the growing number of vehicles are giving to Delhi. In Delhi you can park your vehicle at any place you like unlike other cities like London where parking comes at a premium. As per an article in Hindustan Times, one has to purchase a ticket for premium parking. Also there is a restriction on parking across London from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm from Monday to Saturday. Be ready to pay hefty fine ranging from £80 to £130 (Rs 7,940-Rs 12,907) and a penalty charge notice (PCN) in case you do something against it. In India we do not have any such rule. The Government must work on parking policies. These should be made strict to demotivate buyers from buying more cars just for luxury. Cars should be bought on the basis of available parking place.

Parking on roads block traffic

Street parking in residential areas as well as markets of Delhi should be banned. Most of the main roads in Delhi are quite wide like the main Najafgarh Road in West Delhi. Till Vikaspuri you won’t see any vegetable vendor or parked car on the main road, but after crossing Uttam Nagar terminal the scenario takes a turn of 180 degrees. You can see a real problem of owning more than one vehicle. The road is same but half of it is used by fruit vendors (rehriwalas) and parked vehicles. It leads to unnecessary traffic jams and chaos.

To solve this problem the Government must take stringent steps which must be checked on a regular basis. Vehicles must be parked somewhere else at a common parking place. Concerned authorities must build multi-storey parkings for such places.

Before restricting the number of vehicles owned by Delhi residents, the Government must strengthen the public transport system. According to a Supreme Court order, Delhi should have 11,000 public transport buses but at present it has approximately 6,251 only. Issues that restrain the public from using public transport should be handled effectively and immediately.

How will restrictions work? 

Seeing so many problems, Jalaj Srivastava, chairperson of the New Delhi Municipal Council, said that one individual should be allowed to buy only one car.

But any restrictions cannot be given a green signal at present as there are many unsolved questions, such as:

  • What will you do if you have no facility of public transport in your area?
  • What if your office does not provide a cab facility and being a woman it is not safe to use public transport at odd hours of the day?
  • The Government must work on infrastructure before implementing any such decision. Such decisions without sensing the need of the public will do more harm than good.

What is your take on this – Should there be a restriction on the number of vehicles an individual can own in Delhi?

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