DC Cares | Hyderabad: Reckless parking compounds city's traffic woes

Neither the GHMC nor other departments concerned are bothered about the hardships caused by these establishments to the commuters

Hyderabad: Umpteen commercial establishments which function without following proper norms on the main arterial roads and innumerable by-lanes across the city, resulting in huge traffic logjams, seem to be immune to civic laws. Neither the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) nor other departments concerned are bothered about the hardships caused by these establishments to the commuters.

Several commercial establishments including pubs, restaurants, wine shops, grocery stores, tea vending shops and others have been functioning without any objection from the civic authorities despite causing huge traffic mayhem on any time of the day.

Vehicles are parked on roads, at times occupying 50 per cent of the thoroughfares, but responsible officials close their eyes conveniently, apparently for personal gain. The civic body can curtail these bottlenecks lawfully by not giving trade licenses, issuing occupancy certificates and by enforcing the GHMC Act, if parking space is not provided at any commercial establishment.

However, lack of coordination between the town planning officials, who approve the building plan and issues occupancy certificates only after verifying the structure, and revenue wing, which issues trade licenses. The rampant corruption in both the wings have been taking a toll on commuters who have to manoeuvre through crammed roads due to haphazard parking.

The corporation which recently raided some pubs and eateries in the city found that 90 per cent of them have no trade licenses and 70 per cent of structures were not constructed in compliance with the building norms, where providing parking space is mandatory. Areas like Mehdipatnam, Abids, Himayathnagar, Secunderabad and other busy areas in the city, witness heavy traffic jams due to lack of proper space at these establishments.

Multi-level parking remains non-starter

Though the authorities have initiated measures to construct multi-level parking systems to ease traffic congestion in the city, things do not seem to be moving in the right direction.

The state government has appointed the Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) as a nodal agency to take up the construction of multilevel parking complexes (MLPC) in the city. It released a GO 187 pertaining to the provision of parking complexes at various suitable locations in the city. It also set up a five-member committee, with HMRL managing director as its convener and GHMC commissioner, HMDA commissioner, TSIIC MD and TSRTC MD as members.

The government has asked HMRL to manage the bid process for development of multilevel parking and asked GHMC, HMDA, TSRTC, TSIIC and other departments to provide suitable vacant lands along metro rail, MMTS, railway stations and bus stations in the city. The government has asked the committee to study successful MLPC models such as DLF, under the public-private-partnership module by New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), which developed an automated multi level car parking facility at Sarojini Nagar called South Square. It has asked the committee members to send a detailed project report within three months in 2018. The committee identified 42 locations which were suitable for constructing the parking complexes. After wasting precious time of three years, the HMRL authorities came up with an explanation that the authorities were yet to submit the land details at suitable locations for parking complexes which would be a common point to all public transport systems including MMTS, city RTC and private transport vehicles including cabs. They said the earlier lands identified by the nodal agencies at a few locations were not suitable for parking complexes. They said the GHMC, HMDA, TSRTC, TSIIC and HMRL were in hunt for suitable locations to construct the parking complexes which could be a one stop solution, where commuters can shop, relax, eat and take public transport.

However, the HMRL which is the nodal agency has managed to begin the construction of one multi-level parking complex at Nampally, which can accommodate 250 cars and 100 two-wheelers in three cellars and seven above ground floors. Authorities said the construction of one MLPC was delayed due to Covid-19 but it could hardly see any progress till date. Authorities even informed that the project was put to rest.

This apart, it also proposed to develop an automated MLPC at Khilwat, however, that also remains non-starter. The authorities claimed that no bidder showed interest in the project as it was nearer to Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Chowmahalla Palace, Lad Bazar, Khilwat Palace etc., located approximately 200 metres near the Charminar Pedestrianisation Project area. However, the authorities failed to construct at least one parking complex in three years.

A top traffic cop said roadside parking would obstruct the free flow of traffic which might even create a bottleneck. He said motorists had to deal with the issue. He advised motorists to find a nearby parking space within one or two-kilometre radius and park there and come on foot to reach the destination.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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