Bengaluru

Only one of nine public parking slots to come up for now

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BBMP says a majority of the locations identified for parking are not feasible

With close to 74 lakh vehicles on its roads, Bengaluru is grappling with traffic-related problems. But the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) appears to be in no hurry to pitch in to solve some of them.

Six years after grants were allocated under the 13th Finance Commission for construction of nine public parking slots in the city, the BBMP has aborted plans for all but one — the parking lot at Freedom Park, which is under construction.

These proposed slots were touted as the solution to parking woes in busy localities. The plan included seven multi-level car parking slots (MLCP) and two surface parking slots. However, a majority of the locations identified for parking have been found to be unfeasible by the BBMP.

In 2012, ₹200 crore was designated for the development of nine public parking spaces: two surface parking slots near Forum Mall and Hosmat Hospital and seven MLCPs at Freedom Park, near Vijayanagar metro station, Russell Market, automated car parking on BBMP office premises, near Yeshwantpur regional transport office, near Murugeshpalya on Old Airport Road, and one near Bannappa Park.

However, the plan for all these slots has fallen flat. A senior BBMP official said: “The Russell Market one was not feasible as there were plans for renovation of the structure. As for the one on Old Airport Road near Leela Palace, the land is under litigation. There were feasibility issues space and finance-wise with other places in the list, which made us drop it.”

The official said the BBMP did not have any plans of taking up the rest of the projects as of now.

However, the Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) has urged the BBMP to come up with a comprehensive parking policy, which will ensure that there is no free parking on the roads anywhere in the city.

“The policy should prohibit free on-street parking. In high density roads, even stopping and waiting should be prohibited. Wherever parking lots are available, the cost of on-street parking should be more than the parking lot cost so that people will be encouraged to park in the parking lot,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) R. Hithendra.

The BTP has already written to BBMP about six months ago, he said, adding that they were awaiting a response.

Citizens too stressed on the need to have the new parking units. Srinivas Alavilli, member of Citizens for Bengaluru, said: “The city is losing a lot of revenue on free parking. The BBMP should not shy away from fixing high parking fares at these places. If the parking fare is high, people will desist from taking out private vehicles and it will reduce congestion.”

‘Need better maintenance’

Issues of maintenance continue to plague the functional parking slots. Nagananda T.R., a motorist who regularly uses the parking slot at K.G. Road, said the place could do with better lighting. “Also, there is only one lane for both entry and exit. This is risky. They need to provide separate entry and exit lanes.”

The MLCP in J.C. Road, on the other hand, is mostly being used by residents in the surrounding locality who do not have parking space at their homes. While there are at least 250 cars parked in the MLCP on a monthly rental basis, on a daily basis they see only about 60 to 70 vehicles, said one of the employees.

Cap on registrations

The new State government too brought up the parking space issue recently. Transport Minister D.C. Thammanna said the government was mulling over restrictions on car registrations, allowing only those who have parking space inside their homes to register new vehicles from 2019.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 1:27:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/only-one-of-nine-public-parking-slots-to-come-up-for-now/article24256315.ece

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