Indian newspapers have often been dotted with headlines regarding scuffles, attacks and even deaths in matters related to parking. Yes, my good people, blood has been shed when one encroaches on the other’s parking space. However, this will fail to be the case if it is up to our government. As per the provisions of the new Road Transport & Safety Bill 2014, which is due for a parliamentary debate and approval, it will be mandatory to have a parking lot before a person buys a car. There goes the plan for a new car.
As per the provision, the fresh application for vehicle registration shall be accompanied by proof of parking space duly specified by the local government authority. "The application for registration shall be accompanied by such proof of parking space as may be specified by the state government of the state within which the competent registering authority, being applied to, is located subject to a notification to this effect provided by the appropriate state government or municipality or panchayat ....." under Section 90 (3) of the Bill.
Tell that to someone who stays in Mumbai where in some areas, one ends up paying exorbitant amounts for a parking space for their vehicles. In some cases, you have people selling off parking spaces to make a quick buck. Parking woes in the city markets are visible to all as No Parking signs stare them in the face.
Unfortunately for us, while we were busy creating optimum car designs and the fastest of machines one tiny detail was overlooked - parking space. It takes no genius to see that today the country is battling a space crunch and therefore even battling parking problems. The metros and cosmopolitan urban pockets of our country, while playing host to an increasingly fast-paced lifestyle have now no place to park their cars.
Government officials are validating this by saying that it will increase awareness about the responsibility of having a parking space for car owners, and will go a long way to promote a policy of dedicated place for cars and other passenger vehicles right from the planning stage. The auto industry, on the other hand, has voiced its concerns through the apex body, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, terming the provision 'impractical'.
While it sounds like a justified measure there is a whole lot of drama that still needs to be taken care of. First and foremost is that this will directly impact the Indian automobile industry which is coming out of a slump. This provision, if passed, will make car buying quite a cumbersome process and in turn hit the sales of new cars. Now, a customer will have to first worry about parking space, shell out a bomb if need be, then run around banks for loans and then get his car home. Hopefully, the government works out a middle way to this space problem.