Himachal urban development minister Sudhir Sharma told the state assembly over 79,200 vehicles were registered in the state capital, but the city’s existing parking facilities could accommodate only 687 vehicles. “With an aim to decongest Shimla, the government has proposed to build 49 more parking lots in various areas of the city as well as develop alternative modes of transportation,” he said while replying to a question raised by BJP legislator from Shimla (urban) Suresh Bhardwaj.
Sharma stated of the total number of vehicles in Shimla, 19,924 were registered at the Regional Transport Office, 17,241 with the State Transport Authority, 16,767 with the Shimla (rural) subdivisional magistrate’s office and the remaining 25,366 with the Shimla (urban) SDM’s office. “No study has yet been conducted on the number of vehicles entering Shimla from outside the state every day. The vehicular inflow increases manifold during the peak tourist season,” he added.
Sharma said there were 19 parking lots in the area with four more under construction under the Shimla municipal corporation’s jurisdiction. “To check traffic congestion in the city, the government is also considering a proposal to construct decentralized parking lots in various wards, which has been sent for forest clearances. Even after the 49 proposed parking lots are completed the city will have parking space for only 2,000 vehicles. Hence the government is exploring the feasibility of introducing an integrated multimodel transport system in the city,” he added.
Sharma said the government had already proposed construction of a 3 km ropeway from the bypass near the Shimla bus station to Mall Road at a cost Rs 150 crore. “The ropeway, for which the government invited bids in September, is expected to be operational within three years,” he added.
Sharma also requested Bhardwaj to provide a list of potential sites for new parking lots in Shimla.