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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

MC finalising project to charge fee at parking areas to ease traffic snarls

Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, December 02, 2013
First Published: 20:25 IST(2/12/2013) | Last Updated: 20:27 IST(2/12/2013)

Residents may soon have to shell out money to park their vehicles at the Sarabha Nagar market. Faced with several complaints of traffic snarls and haphazard parking outside the market, especially during evening time, municipal corporation (MC) has found answer in imposing a parking fee at the market, and several other parking lots, which are free so far.

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Residents of the area have for long been at the receiving end, as visitors to the Kipps Market, Sarabha Nagar, habitually park their vehicles outside their houses. To make matters worse, vehicles are parked in a chaotic manner, making movement of vehicles an arduous task.

The situation is not very different at the parking lot of the market. With nobody managing the parking lot, visitors park their vehicles at their whims and fancies, paying no attention to the disruption caused in vehicular movement.

Even visitors to the Flames Mall nearby park their vehicles at Sarabha Nagar market.

The market association of Sarabha Nagar has also been allegedly misusing the parking area for holding car exhibitions and other functions. Association charges fee from exhibitors, but the funds are not passed on the MC.

Therefore, the corporation and traffic police were now making joint efforts to ease traffic chaos on city roads and decongest parking lots. Imposing a parking fee would translate into the parking lot at Sarabha Nagar being managed and hopefully restore order.

The measure would also bring in the much-needed funds for the civic body.

According to sources, MC is planning to give all such parking areas to contractors that were so far being used without parking fee.

Officials of the civic body and traffic police on November 27 had also organised a meeting in which measures to ease traffic were discussed.

It was discussed during the meeting that the major reason of traffic congestion was roadside parking outside restaurants and other commercial centres in various parts of the city.

The civic body hopes with a fee being charged for parking, people would avoid frequenting the market pointlessly, thus providing space for other vehicles.

Assistant commissioner of police (traffic) Deepak Hilori said the problem of parking was arising due to lack of parking spaces across the city, adding that the MC was planning to charge fee for parking, which was free so far.

According to sources, besides Sarabha Nagar market, MC was also planning to charge fee at parking lots in Model Town market and area near Bhadaur House, among other parking lots.

Additional commissioner Sumeet Jarangal said the decision to impose fee at the parking areas was taken by the finance and contract committee (F&CC) in its meetings held on November 9 and 16.

“If the lots are allotted to contractors, they could be managed properly, and more vehicles could be parked within the available space. Sarabha Nagar market is a crucial area and is visited by hundreds of vehicles daily. It is necessary to impose fee at that site,” a senior official of the MC said.

It has been learnt that MC commissioner Rahul Tewari has been mulling ways to ease the traffic congestion in city.

Sources said Jarangal had been given the responsibility by the MC commissioner to prepare a project, so that fee charging at market places could be initiated.

At present paid parking is there at multi-level parking near Mata Rani Chowk, mini-secretariat and 13 parking lots along the Ferozepur Road. Other paid parking lots are at the railway station and inter-state bus terminus.

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