In February 2011, the Local Self-Government Department adopted a policy to find a lasting solution to the problem of parking in urban areas in the State.

The Urban Vehicle Parking Policy under the ongoing Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission put the onus of managing the parking system on the civic bodies.

The policy says, “Though the State has been spending substantial funds on widening and improvement of the roads for increasing the carrying capacity on roads, it does not result in the expected benefits. Urban planning practices prove that widening of the roads in proportion to the increasing traffic volume is not the only option in traffic planning.”

One of the major factors contributing to traffic congestion, the policy says, is on-street parking, a practice which results in four-lane roads effectively becoming two-lane roads. With these findings, the civic bodies were asked to adopt a master plan for traffic management.

Since the civic bodies are not financially sound to acquire and develop land for creating off-street parking facilities, temporary paid parking facilities in the short run was one of the plans. The revenue generated from them was meant to be ploughed back to maintain and develop parking areas.

But two years down the line, much does not seem to have happened on this front. A multilevel parking lot is still in the distant future.

“We are still finalising the project for a multi-level parking lot at Thampanoor. The existing parking lots, including the one at Shanghumughom, are working well,” Deputy Mayor G. Happy Kumar says.

The annual revenue from the Corporation parking lots is Rs. 50 lakh. The parks are run by private parties for a year, after which the tender is renewed.