With no deterrent, parking spaces in complexes being used as party halls, shops, storage points in Doon
Despite dearth of parking spaces, parking lots in a number of commercial complexes in Dehradun are being used for other purposesdehradun Updated: Jan 16, 2018 21:54 IST
Despite growing vehicular pressure on city roads and corresponding dearth of adequate parking spaces, parking lots in a number of commercial complexes in Dehradun are being used for purposes other than parking.
With no deterrence, the parking spaces have been openly turned into shops, storage points, even party halls or simply remain locked down in many cases.
Thanks to the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA), which has largely limited itself to carrying out sporadic checks and issuing notices to errant owners, even though sealing action has hardly been taken against the culprits over the past one year.
According to official estimates, over 3 lakh private vehicles ply in the city per day on an average, besides over 270 city buses, 1,200 vikrams and 2,500 commercial loaders and trolleys.
The city, however, lacks adequate parking facilities. According to the MDDA construction norms, all commercial complexes, hotels and other institutions are required to have proper parking facilities.
However, during a joint inspection by the MDDA and the Dehradun traffic police of over two dozen commercial complexes from inter-state bus terminus (ISBT) to Niranjanpur tri-junction on Monday, parking spaces were found to have been turned into a storage space for building materials in a guest house while a shop was found running in a portion of another parking lot.
Vehicles were found parked on roadside while one of the basement parking lots was being used as a warehouse while five basement parking lots were found locked down.
In one of the buildings, a conference was being conducted in a parking area that had been converted into a party hall by installing false ceiling in it.
“The conference was stopped right there and the owners were asked to dismantle the facility and convert it back into a parking lot. All errant owners have been given three days time to regularize the parking areas,” MDDA secretary Prakash Chandra Dumka said.
According to the MDDA, there are total 653 complexes in the city, with 269 of them being commercial complexes while 384 having commercial/mix usage.
The MDDA, however, could not provide specific records of having sealed any complexes over parking irregularities in the recent past.
In December, the MDDA had issued notices to over 32 complex/building owners in the state capital for using their parking lots for purposes other than parking of vehicles.
Similarly, the development authority had threatened to seal around nine shopping complexes and commercial establishments from ISBT to Clock Tower in June last year. No sealing action, however, took place later on.
Residents, meanwhile, rued how in the absence of stringent action, commercial complexes were going on with the practice unabated.
“Without a strict deterrence, complex owners are blatantly flouting norms while MDDA officials suffice their duty by simply issuing notices instead of taking more stringent action like penalizing or sealing such properties,” said Mahesh Bhandari, president of the Doon Residents’ Welfare Front.
“Instead of intermittent checks, MDDA, traffic police and Dehradun Municipal Corporation should ensure a round the year check on such violators,” he added.
MDDA officials, however, said it was an “issue of continuous enforcement” and that drives were held from time to time to monitor the use of parking lots.
“It is not possible to seal every building or else the entire market will get sealed. There has been improvement in many complexes after our notices.
Nevertheless, with regard to the latest drive, we will slap challan on the defaulters after the deadline is over, and will then go ahead with the sealing process if they (owners) still don’t free-up their parking spaces,” MDDA secretary Prakash Chandra Dumka said.