Hyderabad

Parking pressure builds on roads in residential areas

Vehicles parked on a stretch at Hi-Tech City takes up half of the road leading to traffic congestion.

Vehicles parked on a stretch at Hi-Tech City takes up half of the road leading to traffic congestion.  

Lanes and by-lanes crammed with vehicles given rampant commercialisation of roads abutting residential colonies

Talk to anyone these days. Their predominant concern seems to be traffic moving at a snail’s pace on almost all thoroughfares and rampant commercialisation of roads abutting residential colonies sans parking space that has taken centre-stage in almost all discussions.

The traffic logjams have only turned worse with the rains as roads are riddled with gaping potholes. Added to this is vehicles parked by the road side in front of commercial complexes, hospitals and corporate offices that fail to provide any parking space.

The residents of many colonies are at their wits’ end as vehicles, two and four-wheelers and auto-rickshaws take up the lanes and by-lanes with no way to get on to the main roads given the long line of vehicles from one end of the road to the other.

 

Be it Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Narayanaguda, Himayathnagar, Kukatpally, Miyapur or Ameerpet and other areas. The story is no different. Many roads abutting the residential colonies are being converted into commercial zones in violation of rules. Many civil society groups and residential colony associations have been stepping up their protests against it, but in vain.

Recently, the residents of MLA Colony at Banjara Hills staged a dharna in front of Omega Hospitals protesting the inaction of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) authorities for converting the main road abutting the colony into a commercial road though the road was not even 60-ft wide. It was in violation of the Building Rules of Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department and HUDA/HMDA’s zoning regulations, the residents had pointed out.

With the hospitals in the area attracting a large number of patients and no parking space, the lanes and by-lanes at the colony were taken up by visitors’ vehicles causing hardships to the residents in the area.

“Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Hafizpet, Miyapur and in fact, the entire western sector is being transformed owing to massive commercialisation. It’s time to bring in micro-zoning rules, and no hospitals, schools or corporate offices should be set up in the midst of residential colonies. Though the Master Plan was prepared by the HMDA, it has no role to enforce it in the GHMC area. Under the New Municipal Act, the Municipal Commissioners and local bodies are made accountable for any violations of the zoning rules and parking norms. A similar law should also be brought for GHMC which is still governed by the 1955 Act,” says Shishta Vishwanath, former member, Planning, HMDA.

 

Not just hospitals, hotels, pubs and corporate offices, other entities have set up shop at Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills. It was allowed to happen over the years and there is no turning back now, said retired HMDA officer.

The Master Plan has gone for a toss. The revised building rules were a saving grace as they did not allow construction of multiple floors beyond a height of 15 metres. But there are some buildings as an exception to the rules. If rules are not enforced strictly, the 15-metre norm too would hold no importance, he cautioned.

In areas like Vanasthalipuram and Kukatpally too, the market forces have taken over with scant regard for parking space and zoning regulations while the municipal corporation looks the other way.

Mr. Vishwanath said though the SRDP with super flyovers has been proposed as an alternative, it would attract more traffic and more commercial enterprises. The Financial District area with IT and other white collar employment opportunities concentrated only in the north-western and western sectors, the population in that area would touch one crore in future with 40 lakh jobs.

 

“It’s time to decentralise the IT, financial services and other sectors at least now and spread them all around the ORR. Why not create a hospital zone separately? An attempt was made at Sultanpur the work on which has been going slow now,” he said. Government sources said they have been issuing closure orders to pubs that do not provide parking space. New pubs and commercial complexes have been given permission and NOC is issued only when they provide 33% of area for parking. Asked about the old violations, they said they were helpless as some of them were regularised.

The strict rules under the new Municipal Act and stern action against erring officers and chairpersons of local bodies ironically do not cover the GHMC though most of the violations take place in its jurisdiction, some citizens pointed out. The government should brook no delay in amending the GHMC Act to stop further violations, they said.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:10:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/parking-pressure-builds-on-roads-in-residential-areas/article28828050.ece

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