Hyderabad:While many commercial establishments do not have parking spaces, the GHMC has put up “no-parking” boards at several places and anyone violating the rules are booked. On the RP Road in Secunderabad, GHMC has put up ‘no parking’ boards every 50 to 100 meters, saying violators face a penalty of Rs 1,000.
As most commercial spaces on main roads lack parking facilities, customers are left with no options but to park on the roads. At times, when more than a few vehicles are parked, it leads to traffic jams and a visitor to one of the many shops might end up paying a fine to both the GHMC and the Hyderabad Traffic Police.
“GHMC can collect challans under the municipal laws when it comes to public spaces, encroachments etc. The traffic police is imposing fines when parked vehicles obstruct the traffic flow, under the Motor Vehicles Act,” said additional commissioner of police (traffic), Jitender.
“There are many shops and establishments that do not have sufficient parking spaces as per the guidelines of the traffic police and GHMC as these were established before the rules were framed," he said. However, the permission to run a commercial establishment is granted by the GHMC and as per rules, parking space is mandatory.
Zonal officials from GHMC too said that the corporation can be stringent about the laws if it wants to be. “We had officials who got hotels shut down for lack of parking spaces. We just need clear directives and a free hand to go ahead and seize those who flout rules and ensure that the hotels or any such establishment provides the required space,” the official said.
A traffic inspector said that they book cases, tow vehicles and issue challans to ensure ease of traffic and that if they don’t enforce the rules, traffic can never be controlled.
City’s parking plan remains on paper:
Five years back, Hyderabad Traffic Police, along with the GHMC, had conducted a survey and found that the city needed 1,000 parking lots and had jointly identified 150 areas in the city. The plan has not taken off till date and as per former traffic chief C.V. Anand, who was coordinating with the GHMC on the issue, the corporation needs a complete revamp right from the style of working to filling up vacant posts.
The 2010 survey says, people parked their vehicles on either side of the roads, causing obstruction to free movement of traffic, due to lack of parking lots. “We had identified government plots and lands wherever available and had planned to build parking lots, but the plans have been confined to papers till date. GHMC has a lot of issues in the way it operates and it needs a complete revamp and re-staffing to be able to deal with the standard of life of people of the city. It is highly understaffed and sometimes, a DE (deputy engineer) would be coming for an inspection but there would be no AE (assistant engineer) to assist him,” said Mr Anand, who is currently Commissioner of Police, Cyberabad.
He added that the the municipal corporation does not have the wherewithal to carry out projects, be it parking, garbage disposal or laying of roads.
Builders do not provide parking lot:
Andhra Pradesh Building Rules 2012, applied to HMDA and GHMC areas, state that every commercial building “must” allot 40 per cent of its built up area for parking. However, many builders construct business outlets in the parking spaces to make extra money. The rule also make toilets on every floor mandatory, but here too, the space is usually allocated elsewhere.
The Town Planning wing of the the municipal corporation is supposed to visit a building twice before giving permission. However, these rules have been defied by almost all buildings in the city and the GHMC has not taken any action.
Following pressure, 195 buildings were identified by the GHMC for not having adequate parking space according to the rules, however, the unaccounted number runs in thousands. The municipal corporation had asked the identified builders to buy a building or land by forming a group for parking.