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HT readers' take: End the parking nightmare say Chandigarh residents

Parking is fast becoming a major bane of the tricity. Residents say they are forced to park their vehicles on the roadside due to lack of sufficient parking space. And, as if this was not bad enough, blatant overcharging remains rampant at parking lots.

chandigarh Updated: Apr 13, 2015 19:32 IST
Hindustan Times

Rein in errant parking contractors
The piecemeal measures taken to redress the parking problem have proved counterproductive. To deal with the issue effectively, the authorities need to drop their laidback attitude and resolve parking woes once and for all. They should expand parking space in the city by completing pending projects. Paid parking should be supervised and errant contractors indulging in overcharging be dealt with strictly. NGOs and other social welfare organisations can also play a proactive role by promoting car pooling.

Number of vehicles for every family must be limited to two
Parking problems will get worse as the number of vehicles on the roads keeps rising. So, the first step to address the challenge is to limit the number of vehicles a family can own to two. Second, the “VIP” fleet should be pruned. The city is full of these “VIPs” whose vehicles add to traffic congestion, even in parking areas. Three, the UT administration must explore the feasibility of constructing more underground parking lots in the city.
MADHU RD SINGH , Ambala Cantt

More multi-storeyed parking lots needed
The number of vehicles in the city is increasing faster than the population. How can the UT administration effectively enforce parking regulations when it has failed to control contractors at parking lots? It is an open secret that most of these contractors are continuously overcharging under the nose of the administration. Why aren’t their contracts cancelled? The authorities must also construct more multistory parking lots in the tricity and to supervise them properly.

Limit the time vehicles can ply on roads
Traffic and parking problems have to be dealt with effectively, what with the ever increasing vehicle density in the city. Despite the best efforts of the Chandigarh traffic police things appear to be getting out of control. Though not much can be done about reducing the number of vehicles, limiting the time they can run on the streets may ease parking woes to an extent. Paid parking may not be the ultimate solution as it involves unnecessary wastage of time in waiting ,apart from hassles involved in locating a convenient parking slot and putting up with the conduct of unprofessional parking attendants.

All paid parking lots must have e-ticketing machines
Paid parking was seen as the solution to the parking problem until contractors began fleecing the public, ignoring the rules. There appears to be a nexus between parking contractors and civic officials. Parking attendants often charge double and do not wear the prescribed uniform. Parking lots also do not have e-ticketing machines.

Condition of parking lots should be improved
The MC should take stringent measures against erring parking contractors to ensure the public is not fleeced. Also, the condition of parking lots in several city areas should be improved by recarpeting roads and ensuring entry and exit points are properly manned and the attendants wear uniforms.
VIJAY KUMAR SOI , Chandigarh

Parking lots should have more attendants
To improve the parking situation there should be more attendants at parking lots so that they can handle the vehicular inflow and help visitors to park their vehicles at the appropriate slot. Also, e-ticketing should be introduced at all lots and overcharging should be made a punishable offence. Licences of errant parking contractors should be cancelled immediately.

Councillors must file complaints against errant contractors
Overcharging at parking lots in the city continues unabated. If the mayor does a reality check she will find not only are visitors fleeced but they are also harassed. It seems parking contractors have no fear of checks conducted by the authorities. Why cannot councillors file complaints against errant contractors in their wards? The UT advisor should suspend officials found lax in enforcing parking regulations.
SACHIN SHARMA , Chandigarh

MC should scrap parking fee
Imposition of parking fee is unjustified. When city residents already pay multiple taxes, right from the time of purchasing a vehicle to road tax, where is the need for additional parking fees or toll taxes? The authorities should dispense with parking fees and instead provide good roads and sufficient parking places.

Automated ticketing machines can resolve the problem
Parking has become a major problem in the tricity due to dishonest and incompetent municipal staff who are part of the problem. As far as the lack of parking space is concerned, underground and multilevel parking is the solution to cater to future requirements. With regard to fleecing of visitors at parking lots the most workable solution lies in introducing automated ticketing machines like those used at toll plazas. Also, the administration should stop auctioning parking lots, instead allotting them to jobless youngsters on profit sharing basis.

Conduct regular checks at malls
Paid parking is definitely not the problem. Instead multilevel parking facilities in basements should be provided to the public free of cost. People who do not park their cars in a proper manner should be fined by the traffic police. Regular checks should be conducted at various shopping malls to curb the
problem of overcharging.
MANYA SARWAL , Panchkula

Complaint numbers must be displayed at all parking lots
All parking lots should prominently display the charges on boards put up at entry points. A warning against paying extra and complaint phone numbers will be an added deterrent. If violations still come to light, severe punishment should be meted out to the parking contractor concerned. It seems vested interests in the administration are helping the contractors in not complying with the terms and conditions laid down in the contracts.

Civic body should crack down on haphazard parking
Parking plans should be drawn in consultation with fire stations for evacuation in cases of emergency. People should minimize use of vehicles and adjacent market blocks that are vacant should be utilized for parking. Introduce a monthly pass system with a fixed number of visits to reduce overcharging and waiting times. The authorities should take action against haphazard parking through fines and towing away vehicles that are not properly parked.

Impose road congestion charges
Among the measures that can help in easing the tricity’s parking woes is restricting the sale of new vehicles and imposing road congestion charges on an hourly basis. Some routes may be permanently declared as oneway. Also, the administration should make efforts to provide a safe and congestion free public transportation including a mass rapid transport system. It should construct additional space for parking, where ever possible, and build new multistory parking lots on a war footing.

Civic body seems to have abdicated its responsibility
About a decade back, on the directions of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, the Chandigarh administration had assigned the task of maintaining all parking lots in the city to the Chandigarh municipal corporation. However, the civic body appears to have abdicated its responsibility by handing over the job to parking contractors.
SK KHOSLA , Chandigarh

Construct more underground, rooftop parking lots
The pressure on parking space in the city is becoming more acute by the day. In addition to setting up more parking lots the authorities should construct more rooftop car parks as well as multistory and underground parking lots. They also need to be vigilant against overcharging. Vehicles haphazardly parked along the roadside should be immediately towed away. Also, CCTV cameras should be installed at all parking lots to curb overcharging and to prevent overcrowding. Overcharging should be strictly dealt with and to prevent this computer generated receipts should be issued.

Car pooling can end parking woes
The first big problem when we step out of our homes is finding parking space for our vehicles. It should be mandatory for every locality to have a parking lot. Next, there must be regular checks on parking fees to prevent visitors being fleeced. Also, car pooling should be actively promoted as it will go a long way in easing the city’s mounting parking woes.
OPINDER SEKHON , via email

More parking lots required
Parking lots that are supposed to exist for the convenience of the public are now increasingly viewed as places of harassment. An effective solution to ease the problem is to expand parking spaces in the city by constructing more parking lots, including multilevel and underground parking.

MC need to wake up from slumber
The MC gives contracts for parking lots and the poor public is left at the mercy of the contractors. At the entrance to any parking lot, money is charged, slip is issued and the job is done. Whether you get parking space or not that is your headache. A large number of vehicles being added on daily basis is only adding to the problem. Authorities should come out of their comfort zone and find a solution.

First Published: Apr 13, 2015 10:54 IST