Capital Undergoes Parking Crunch
It’s murder driving through the city traffic piling up every day passing by. Parking your drive is the worst nightmare. Traffic and parking go hand in hand in metro cities like Delhi. The study commissioned by the Urban Development Ministry has found that some of the reasons for traffic congestion in the city are bottlenecks, encroachments, on-road parking, bad road and intersection design and signal phasing. The biggest drawback the city has to grapple with every now and then is unallocated and unauthorised stopping of buses and unorganised operations of mixed traffic.
Many traffic bottlenecks are formed only because of shrinking of road width for example Karkardooma intersection near Shantimukand hospital, east Delhi where the road narrows near the nullah. Bad planning—like construction of a foot over bridge near Rajouri Garden on Ring Road—also shrinks ways and the whole stretch on either side of Vikas Marg right from Preet Vihar to Laxmi Nagar-Shakarpur remains choked with illegal parking particularly in front of on-road shops.
“Traffic police have to be more vigilant about halting, roadside waiting and parking on the road or in tow-away zones. If there is any parking being run on the sly, that is the matter of civic agencies but then if a complaint where an unauthorised or illegal parking being run comes to us the department of the police concerned should take action to resolve the issue. Talking of heavy flow of vehicular traffic, some become perennial traffic congestion points, especially in the peak hours as the vehicles have to suddenly squeeze through a narrow stretch, leading to pile-ups. Footpaths, service roads and even portions of carriageways are encroached upon by parked vehicles, which is posing a threat,” explained Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic) Satyendra Garg.
“If there is any parking with no permission from the MCD or NDMC I can vehemently state that it’s being run with the connivance of the police, more categorically the SHO concerned very well knows about it and he is liable to be punished,” Addl. DCP east Dinesh Gupta expounded candidly. The survey observes that some measures have been taken to organise on-street parking. Due to poor enforcement and piling up number of vehicles, these measures are proving to be highly inadequate. Traffic police receive a large number of complaints about buses and commercial vehicles being parked on main carriageways, service roads and even in residential areas.
“We have as many as 12 such recognised parking lots in east Delhi and around 20 more are likely to be added as we are looking for allocation of land. If you talk about the number overshooting or going beyond a line demarcated, we are ready to take action and bring the one, who is running this unauthorised parking, to book,” said SS Yadav, Commissioner MCD (E).
The report also observes that several arterial and sub-arterial roads are provided with lanes for non-motorised transport (NMT) but the network is inadequate and incomplete and leads to mixing of NMT and motorised traffic. The unallocated and unauthorised stopping of buses and unorganised operations of public and NMT modes of transport cause severe traffic congestion.
“The police do not do anything except for the fact that they extort money from such crorepati racketeers. I have been taking rounds and keeping a close watch on everything since I came in. If I detect any one irrespective of who’s who I’ll not spare him at any cost. I stand firm on my decision. The guilty must be penalised. I’m confident that our party will come to power in the assembly next year then see the hygiene and transparency in the system. Congress is synonymous with price hikes, scams and frauds, now people of Delhi and this country have woken up to the reality. Regularising 917 colonies is nothing but an eyewash. People have understood the strategy now. They will not be duped again,” Annapurna Mishra, Mayor MCD east Delhi, said slamming the government.
Now the Delhiites face a double-whammy as they have to cough up more for parking, the prices are soon to climb up. The monitoring committee of the Supreme Court has directed it to double up the rates of the surface parking. In addition, multi-level parking will cushion the jolt of ever-increasing traffic on road. The chairman of the committee Bhurelal expressed his annoyance over the issue saying that the parking in Sarojni Nagar needed immediate attention. Lal said that there were chinks in rules of traffic; the traffic plan needed to be revamped and in this MWA’s nod and cooperation was a must.
By Syed Wajid Ali