Space crunch, unwillingness to pay keep Udyog Vihar, Golf Course Road, MG Road congested
Illegal parking continues to be rampant on city streets despite the recent clampdown on violations under the amended Motor Vehicles Act. According to an estimate provided in the GMDA’s draft mobility plan for Gurugram, about 11,000 vehicles are parked illegally on city roads each day, mainly “due to large ownership of private vehicles”. Traffic police data shows that most vehicles are towed from Golf Course Road (GCR), Mehrauli-Gurugram (MG) Road and Udyog Vihar.
In Udyog Vihar, illegal parking is rampant near the passport office. According to commuters, the problem persists because private companies in the area do not have sufficient space in their basements, which leads to illegal parking and traffic congestion. Meanwhile, in areas such as the Golf Course Road and MG Road, illegal parking is prevalent near shopping complexes as motorists do not park their vehicles in the privately owned basements of the malls they visit, traffic police said, adding that vehicles owners allegedly choose to save the parking fee.
Illegal parking has been a huge problem in Udyog Vihar for many years because of the high density of industries and private offices in the area. Motorists and people employed with the companies here alleged that authorities concerned have failed to create dedicated and sufficient parking space.
The road in front of the passport office is the worst hit by the parking crisis. Daily commuters and security guards stationed near the spot allege that through the week, traffic congestion is chronic and multiple scuffles break out every day over parking.
Shubham Singh, a security guard posted at the gate of the passport office, said, “Companies here do not have adequate basement parking. So, visitors park their cars on the road. People who come to the passport office also park on the same road leading to jams on a daily basis. I witness multiple arguments and fights among people over parking.”
Commuters alleged that only big companies have designated parking areas and space. However, the smaller companies do not provide any space to their employees or visitors, forcing them to break the law by parking on footpaths or along the main road.
“The traffic police can tow as many vehicles as they want. The companies tell us they do not have space, authorities have not created parking either. Where should people park their vehicles?” said Ajay, who has been working with a private company here for past three years.
Ashok Kohli, president of the chamber of industries, Udyog Vihar, said, “There has been an acute problem of parking in the area. The companies do not have proper parking in their basements as these buildings were constructed 35-40 years ago. The roads are very narrow and there is rampant encroachment. We have been holding meetings with authorities concerned to address the issue.”
To solve the issue of illegal parking in SEZs such as Udyog Vihar, the GMDA’s draft mobility plan has proposed advance online booking to reserve parking spaces. “Out of the total parking, 80% space would be booked online. Of this 50% will be normally priced, for booking the rest dynamic prices would be applicable. 20% percent of the total parking would be booked on-site, but at higher rates.”
GOLF COURSE ROAD (GCR)
According to the residents and traffic police, illegal parking is prominent in front of shopping complexes such as Mega Mall and South Point Mall. The traffic police said that most of the people allegedly park their cars in the service lane or even on the main in the evening hours.
“People can buy cars worth lakhs, but are not willing to pay ₹30 for parking inside the malls. It is a huge problem in the area. Roads are always congested in the evening because of this mentality,” Kunal, who lives in a condominium on GCR, said, adding that another spot where this problem is rampant is around the Sector 53-54 Rapid Metro station.
“People just park their vehicles on the road and board the Metro. There is a hotel and a corporate office near-by, which also add to the number of vehicles parked on the road. No action was taken earlier, but things have been better since the traffic police began towing vehicles,” Puneet, a resident of a condominium next to the Sector 53-54 Rapid Metro station.
According to the GMDA draft mobility plan, MG Road accounts for the highest number of illegally parked vehicles on any given day, with “more than 80% vehicles parked for short period (less than one hour), especially in the commercial areas.”
On Monday evening, there was a serpentine line of cars waiting in front of a mall for a parking spot. Security guards at the gate were feverishly trying to manage the traffic, requesting drivers to wait for their turn to enter.
Kuldeep, a traffic police personnel posted at a chowki next to MG Road Metro station, said, “People do not want to wait and park in the basement of the malls. They prefer to park their vehicles in the service lanes and main road. The problem worsens during the evening due to office rush and people visiting the malls. We have been focusing on towing vehicles parked illegally near such shopping complexes.”
Kishore Kumar Anand, a frequent visitor, said there is a lack of parking space in the area due to the auto-rickshaws and e-rickshaws present near the Metro station. “I could not find parking space in a mall and had to take a U-turn to park my car in another mall. The whole city suffers because of this, but no one is willing to take responsibility for it,” he added.