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Pune mayor is a roadblock to parking policy execution, allege NGOs

The NGOs have pointed out that parking has already become a very serious issue. Haphazard parking on the roads and encroachment on footpaths, cycle tracks and near bus stops has become rampant affecting not just the smooth flow of traffic, but also the safety and convenience of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

pune Updated: Oct 13, 2018 14:37 IST
Abhay Khairnar
Abhay Khairnar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Mayor,Parking
Representatives of NGOs have said that paid parking is not new to Pune and generally residents have accepted the benefits of paid and managed parking on streets such as Fergusson College and Jungli.(Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

City-based NGOs (non-governmental organisations) have blamed Pune mayor Mukta Tilak for stalling the parking policy even as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) general body took the decision to execute it six months back.

The members of NGOs have said they will approach the central and state governments’ ministries if no action is taken at the city level to execute the policy which is already approved by the elected members.

Activists Sujit Patwardhan (Parisar), Maj Gen SCN Jatar (retd) of Nagrik Chetna Manch and Prashant Inamdar (Pedestrian First) wrote a letter to the mayor urging her to take the decision on five roads for pilot pay and park project.

Meanwhile, the mayor said that the issue has been discussed within the party as well as elected members. Tilak said, “I have asked all the eight city MLAs to suggest one road from their assembly constituency where pay and park can be executed as per the new policy on pilot basis. It is expected that the MLAs would suggest the roads within the next eight to 10 days. Once the mayor office receives the letters from MLAs, a meeting would be held to finalise the road list.”

In a letter to the mayor, NGOs said, “The parking policy for Pune was approved by the PMC general body in March 2018. However, while approving the resolution the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) decided that a committee headed by the mayor would decide on five roads on which the policy would be implemented on a pilot basis before it was rolled out to the whole city. Despite several reminders and follow-ups by the administration, the mayor has failed to decide on which roads the pilot will be implemented thus stalling the entire parking policy for the city.”

The NGOs have pointed out that parking has already become a very serious issue. Haphazard parking on the roads and encroachment on footpaths, cycle tracks and near bus stops has become rampant affecting not just the smooth flow of traffic, but also the safety and convenience of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

Inamdar said, “The parking policy for Pune is based on principles laid out in the National urban transport policy, which says that on-street parking must be charged as per the demand in the area. Paid parking is not new to Pune and generally citizens have accepted the benefits of paid and managed parking on streets such as Fergusson College and Jungli Maharaj roads in the past.”

Patwardhan pointed out that parking problems simply cannot be solved by a supply-side approach, but must be addressed by controlling demand by appropriate pricing. “Most on-street parking, even on very congested roads, is occupied all day long by single users. Pricing of on-street parking will ensure that such people use alternative parking or even better, switch to public transport, so that customers can get on-street parking for an hour or so, which is what they need. The parking policy will actually help retail business.”

Jatar of Nagrik Chetna Manch said that having a parking policy was a condition imposed by the government of India when the Metro was approved. “A parking policy will ensure that people shift to sustainable modes. The central pollution control board has also directed the city to ensure strict enforcement of no parking areas to control emission from vehicles.”

First Published: Oct 13, 2018 14:36 IST