Caught in a mess, but there is a way out
Multi-level parking, selling parking space for heavy and light vehicles separately and a change in the attitude of motorists will ease congestion, say experts
A decade ago, when Navi Mumbai was still being planned, it was touted to be the city of the future. Unfortunately, the plan did not account for the burgeoning population and with it, the rise in vehicles.
The paucity of parking facilities has now prompted urban planners and other officials, including the city’s traffic police, to revisit the city’s infrastructure and help ease-up the congestion on arterial roads.
“The main reason for the parking problem in the city is the lack of planning by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco). Unfortunately, it was planned under the assumption that the city would not grow,” said Vijay Patil, deputy commissioner of police (traffic). “However, now that the number of vehicles is increasing with every passing day, it is important that the problem be addresses immediately.”
According to traffic experts, bus stands were a major cause of the traffic congestion on the city roads. An example of this is the Kalamboli area. One of the biggest transport junctions in the state, more than 3,000 transporters have their offices in the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) area. About 7,000-8,000 containers and heavy vehicles pass through the area and are parked there every day. This results in major traffic snarls in the area, which then spills on to other roads during peak hours.
“One plausible solution for the problem caused by heavy vehicles is to ensure that before the vehicle is purchased, a permanent parking space is purchased. Transporters often purchase 100 trucks, but don’t have space to park their vehicles,” said Patil.
Patil said Cidco was also looking into the issue of the lack of parking facilities for heavy vehicles. “The agency is working on a project to provide parking for 20,000 trucks in JNPT. It should be ready in 2-3 years.”
Further, he suggested that the regional transport offices in the city make it compulsory for purchasing parking space for light vehicles as well. “With this, multi-level parking is also needed to reduce the parking mess in the city,” said Patil.
On the responsibility of the traffic police, Patil said personnel had been instructed to take action against motorists who are found to practice double parking, especially in busy market areas.
Many urban planners have
THE PARKING PROBLEM IS THE RESULT OF LACK OF PLANNING BY CIDCO. UNFORTUNATELY, IT WAS ASSUMED THE CITY WOULD NOT GROW.
VIJAY PATIL, deputy commissioner of police (traffic)
also suggested that new housing societies ensure that adequate space is allotted for parking for residents and outsiders. “The Cidco buildings that are being re- developed should also have parking space,” Patil suggested.
Taking heed of the situation, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has also planned a multi- level parking facility in sector 15, Vashi. The parking facility near the St Lawerence School nullah will also be opened for public, soon, civic officials said. “Besides, it is essential that residents be discipline and maintain traffic rules.”