LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has directed the Lahore Parking Company to devise a parking policy and plan parking spaces to fulfil the parking requirements of the city. The court ordered that this policy should change and evolve with the changing patterns in the usage of private and public vehicles and should consider the traffic issues of the city. The court further directed the LePARK to work in close liaison with the City Traffic Police Lahore so that parking spaces had the least impact on the flow of traffic. The court ordered that the building owners were required to provide proper provision for parking within the building premises, and the owners of the buildings/plazas/hospitals could not use the land earmarked for parking in contravention to the approved building plans. The court ordered the city district government to consider grievance of a petitioner who complained of parking stands of the LePARK on service roads, which blocked the entire roads and created difficulties for the people in accessing the buildings.The court directed that the CDGL and LePARK to put in extra efforts along with the traffic police and have regular meetings to resolve traffic issues. The court ordered that the LePARK should charge parking fee in accordance with some policy. The court held that the parking rates at specified times of the day or days of the week for specified duration could vary for efficient parking management instead of aiming to simply generate revenue by prescribing a flat rate. The court issued the directives while dismissing the petitions of different private parking contractors at notable shopping malls and hospitals, like Hafeez Centre, Siddique Trade Centre, Chen One and Surgimed Hospital.The petitioners had requested that having parking lots at private places, they could not be directed by the LePARK to regulate those parking lots as per their directives. The court held that all parking stands were located in public places, as they were shopping malls, business centres or hospitals. It said that the areas that were approached by the public on a daily basis must have parking facilities. The judge held that parking stands should be regulated by LePARK, and that private parking stands operating in public places were bound to collect parking rates notified by the city district government.The court observed that there was a rapid increase in the number of cars and motorbikes, causing shortage of parking spaces at public or private places within the city. It said that the parking places were also not properly regulated; hence the problem of availability of parking, wrong parking and encroachments had multiplied. The court directed LePARK to make a parking policy that must be robust and based on requirements of the city.Earlier, a representative of the LePARK submitted that they had not devised any mechanism to register parking contractors to standardise their function, nor did they have the control over private contractors and private parking spaces.A report was also filed on behalf of the City Traffic Police Lahore, which outlined the gravity of the traffic problems due to lack of coordination between traffic police, CDGL and LePARK. The report stated that parking stands in many areas had created serious hindrances to the smooth flow of traffic, as they had been given spaces in congested areas where the flow of traffic and given amenities did not justify the operation of a parking stand.A police report stated that parking contractors often encroached upon public space, sidewalls, side roads, service areas and empty plots to allow parking, which was neither permitted nor conducive.