Vehicles parked near unit-1 daily market
Bhubaneswar, July 16: Parking vehicles has become an uphill task at markets and other busy areas in the city.
While proper parking lots have been created in some areas such as Vanivihar Square and Rajmahal Square following the expansion of roads, in other areas, four wheelers can be spotted parked on the road.
Unit-I and Unit-II markets also face acute shortage of parking space. The situation is the same at commercials establishments in the Jayadev Vihar area.
About 7.5 lakh vehicles, of which 12 per cent are four-wheelers, ply in the city. The number of parking lots is pitifully inadequate. Though the authorities had chalked out a plan to construct two multi-level parking lots in the city, there hasn’t been any progress on this front because no land has been allotted for this purpose yet.
Experts feel that unorganised parking and less dependency on mass transport system is responsible for the parking mess in the city. “There is no dearth of space available in the city for parking but the authorities are yet to device a proper policy to construct parking lots,” said Piyush Rout, a city-based urban management practitioner.
He also said that the authorities have failed to encourage other modes of mass transit such as pavements and bicycle tracks so that people ceased to be heavily dependent on their own vehicles. While the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has only 17 parking lots in the city, which can house around 2,500 vehicles, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority has 10 parking lots, mostly in front of the parks, where around 1,000 cars can be parked.
The citizens blame the authorities for the parking mess in the city. “Sometimes, police penalise us for parking in no-parking zones. But there is no place to park in most commercial areas. The civic authorities must also ensure that no one pays more than the parking fee fixed by them,” said Sudhakar Samal, a senior citizen, who lives in Chandrasekharpur.
Apart from commercial areas, exhibition fields such as Adivasi Ground, Unit-III exhibition field and Janta Maidan also suffer from the problem of inadequate parking space.
Traffic personnel feel that inadequate parking space often results in traffic jams in the city. “Though we have been conducting drives to penalise those who park their vehicles in unauthorised areas, the problem will remain unless adequate parking space is allotted,” said a senior traffic official.
However, BMC officials said the commissionrate police had been entrusted with the job of identifying more parking lots in the city. “Once the police give us the locations, we will examine them and start the construction of parking lots,” said BMC deputy commissioner Krushna Prasad Pati.