Honking vehicles, traffic jams, cussing motorists – this is the scene on most Jaipur roads at morning and evening peak hours when people rush to office or home. The chaos has its origin in vehicles parked illegally and haphazardly on roads.
Jaipurites, it seems, love parking on roads even when there’s legit parking space available in public buildings.
HT found that in locations with perennial traffic problem, there is ample parking space that is underutilised.
“Why pay for parking when we can conveniently park on the roadside?” asked Neha Jethwani, an MBA student, at Gaurav Tower in Malviya Nagar.
For Sumit Bhushan, it’s about convenience. “It is comfortable to park outside than in the parking lot, which is in the basement, and we also have to pay for it,” he said.
Crystal Court near Gaurav Tower has parking space for 1,000 two-wheelers and 350 four-wheelers. The charges are Rs 20 and Rs 30.
“Sometimes I am here only for a few minutes,” said Jai Prakash, who came to Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) office for work. “I would rather park outside the building as it saves time and the effort to navigate the parking lot,” he said.
JDA campus has a parking lot that can accommodate 1,200 two-wheelers and 800 four-wheelers.
According to the transport department, Jaipur has 18 lakh two-wheelers and 3.5 lakh four-wheelers. The transport department data shows a growth of 40% in two-wheelers and 50% in four-wheelers between 2010-11 and 2014-15.
Outside Terminal 2 of Jaipur airport, people can often be seen sitting in their cars, waiting to pick up their friends or relatives.
“The airport parking lot charges Rs 85, which is exorbitant. I don’t like to wait on the roadside but the charges are too much,” said Mukund Maheshwari, a businessman, who was waiting outside the airport.
“And, if flights get delayed, you will end up paying more. Isn’t it then better to just wait on the roadside?”
At Jaipur’s Sessions Court, which is close to the district collector’s office, most people blame lack of parking space for parking on roads.
“I think they should make space for at least 2,000 cars if they want no parking on roads outside the court,” said Uday Sharma, an advocate. The court parking area has space for only 100 cars.
Jaipur deputy commissioner of police (DCP) of traffic Haider Ali said they were encouraging people to park in parking lots only. “We have 10 cranes which pick vehicles parked outside parking areas, and will add 10 more soon,” he said.