Lakhs fined for illegal parking, but to no avail
The effort made by Gurugram traffic police towards cracking down on illegal parking in the city this year seems to have done little to curb the problem, thanks to inadequate number of authorised parking spaces and shortage of towing vehicles.
This year, till August 31, the traffic police issued 1.23 lakh fines (challans) for wrong/illegal parking. Officials said that despite penalising offenders, people continue to park their vehicles along the roads and other available spaces because there is lack of parking lots in key market and business areas of the city.
Motorists tend to avoid even the 44 parking lots authorised by the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP), formerly Haryana urban development authority, as the minimum parking fee is Rs 50, which goes up to Rs 100 per hour after the first three hours.
Thanks to this supply gap and steep parking fee, unauthorised parking spaces have flourished at more than 150 locations in the city, police said, adding that with no tariff structure in place, owners of these unauthorised parking lots charge motorists anywhere between Rs 10 and Rs 250 for parking.
Police commissioner KK Rao said that incorrect parking is a major issue which fuels traffic congestion at major locations, such as MG Road, Golf Course Road and Cyber City.
“Our aim is to decongest roads and that is the reason we are extensively issuing fines to people who park vehicles on the roadside, covering a major part of the road,” Rao said.
In the last eight months, the traffic police has impounded 11,169 vehicles for wrong parking. But, space crunch at impound lots poses a major challenge.
“We do not have adequate space to park the impounded vehicles or adequate number of cranes and other equipment required to tow vehicles. Our efforts are hampered by the fact that out of the six towing vehicles we have, only four are in working condition,” Rao said.
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has 16 cranes which are in high demand by the traffic department. While four cranes are permanently deployed at Udyog Vihar, Rajiv Chowk, Sector 55-56 route and Manesar, the rest are reserved to respond to emergency cases.
Officials said that people are aware that the traffic police does not have enough cranes to tow vehicles, and this further dissuades them from following traffic norms.
Rao said the traffic police they have strongly enforced all rules and acted against violators, but rued the lack of infrastructure, and said that this was not something the department could create in the city.
MCG commissioner Yashpal Yadav said they have initiated the process of building three multilevel parking lots in the city, which will help address the parking issues to some extent.
“Parking woes are worsening and people generally avoid using the authorised spaces to avoid paying for the facility, even if the fee is minimal. We have tried making parking free for residents at some malls but they still park on the road,” Yadav said.