Chairman, Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority
Parking policies formulated so far have focused chiefly on commercial areas, especially markets. But residential areas too are facing similar space crunch and need a new policy. What steps have been taken so far?
We have formulated a new policy that focuses mainly on residential areas and sent it to the three municipal corporations and the state government. For instance, people are supposed to leave setbacks while constructing houses, but instead of using them for parking purposes, many of them have converted those to create additional rooms. Also, any vehicle found parked on roadside inside colonies should be penalised heavily. We have also recommended that parking fee should be levied in such areas either monthly, or with property tax.
What do you think can be the solution to this parking mess?
Improving public transport is the only answer. Use of private vehicles needs to be discouraged by levying congestion tax. But we also need to ensure that people start using multi-level parking lots.
Vacant spaces such as that underneath flyovers are being used to park vehicles. Many of these have been declared authorised parking lots.
If a place is lying vacant and is not affecting the free flow of traffic, it should be utilised. But do ensure that the land is not encroached upon.
A number of pavements are being used to park vehicles even inside colonies. Not only does it affect traffic movement, but it also makes pedestrians' life difficult.
We should take a lesson from the Pune Municipality that began charging R 2,000 from any vehicle that is found parked on a footpath. Pavements along IIT campus main road and along the SDA market (opposite to IIT) footpaths are crammed with vehicles.