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August 9, 2012

Making space in a crowded city

The NCR is crumbling under the pressure of vehicles. And multi-level parkings cannot be the only way out of this parking mess. The solution lies in ensuring that parking lots are built within deadlines, ensuring the existing ones operate smoothly, converting illegal parkings into legal ones and promoting public transport.

Sample this: Less than a month after its inauguration, cars were stuck in the Rs. 80 crore Sarojini Nagar automatic multi-level parking for two hours due to a technical snag. The Haryana Urban Development Authority’s (HUDA) proposal to construct four multi-level parkings has not materialised while the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon’s (MCG) plan to build a multi-level lot in old Gurgaon is stuck in red tape.

The Sarojini Nagar parking project, experts say, was carried out without a clear strategy. “Commuters still prefer to park their vehicles in surface parkings,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhary, from Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The new multi-level parking on BKS Marg too is used below its capacity. The CSE, in a study, found that multi-level parkings are operating at a mere 20 to 40% of their capacity.

On the other hand, the NDMC and the three municipal corporations are dragging their feet on the construction of 15 new parking projects, that are supposed to make space for nearly 5,000.

Gurgaon too is not much different. Considering the mess, both HUDA and MCD have promised to improve the existing lots and create new ones. “We will build another 10 to 15 parking lots wherever possible,” said Praveen Kumar, HUDA administrator, despite the fact that nothing has moved forward on the earlier announced two projects. Similarly, MCG Chief Engineer BS Singroha said, “Our project may take months or years. But we have started improving the existing parking lots.”

In Noida, authorities are planning to tackle the situation by building more multi-level parkings — two will be built in Sector 18, another will come up at Sector 38A at the Botanical Garden Metro station. Together, they will be able to accommodate 8,000 vehicles. The deadline: Next 18 months.

What also remains to be done is putting an end to the parking mafia, which the Noida police say they will do by equipping parking attendants hand-held devices to issue parking slips. The contractors will be asked to get the police verification of attendants done. Noida Authority is planning to make contractors liable for cars stolen from their parking lot by making them submit Rs. 5 lakh as compensation if a car is stolen from their parking lot.

Source: Hindustan Times, (09.08.2012)Original Article

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