Neighbourhood parking - the way to go in Chandigarh

January 20th, 2009 - 11:54 am ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Jan 20 (IANS) The capital of Punjab and Haryana already has the highest density of vehicles in the country, and it’s getting worse. As the roads get more choked every day, the solution of the municipal authorities - neighbourhood parking lots.Called community parking, the scheme, feels Mayor Kamlesh Banarsi Das, will help ease congestion and keep parked cars safe at the same time.

“Community parking is the need of the hour if we want to reduce the bottlenecks and traffic congestion on the city roads. To bring this concept successfully to the ‘city beautiful’ is the top priority for me in 2009,” Das told IANS here.

Describing the project, she said: “The unused open spaces near the residential areas will be earmarked as parking lots and all residents can park their vehicles there. It will also help in minimising the vehicle thefts in the area, as there will be only one or two entry and exit points, which will be manned by security guards.

“I could not start this project during my last tenure as mayor in 2004. However, this time my officials have already started working on this and the project will be ready very soon. Our community parking scheme will certainly set an example for other cities to follow.”

Chandigarh was designed by Le Corbusier to accommodate only 500,000 people, but at present it has a population of nearly 1.2 million. Plus, there are over 700,000 registered vehicles here.

The construction work for the first community parking lot is going on at the suburb of Burail here. It will be set up at a cost of Rs.7 million.

Das said: “Villages and small towns situated on the outskirts of Chandigarh are in maximum need of community parking lots. They already have very narrow roads. Once someone parks a car there, there is no space even for a pedestrian.

“We have to solve this problem. Otherwise, in an emergency, no rescue vehicle will be able to enter these areas, especially at night when so many vehicles are parked in these narrow lanes.”

Municipality officials said 12 locations had been identified for community parking lots.

The municipality’s Chief Engineer S.K. Bansal told IANS: “The project of community parking will provide breathing space for Chandigarh. We have invited suggestions from councillors about appropriate sites in their wards for the construction of community parking.

“We have already identified spots for a community parking lot in Sector 17, the commercial hub of Chandigarh, and in other thickly populated areas. An average community parking lot will accommodate 400-450 two-wheelers and 300-350 cars.”

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