Pune: At a time when prices for housing have reached the roof, buying car parking admeasuring 220 square feet has become the same as buying a studio apartment, where one small family can easily be accommodated. Moreover, one car parking occupies the space enough for parking 10 bicycles or five motorbikes or two autorickshaws. Considering the space crunch, the corporation has come up with the new parking policy. The policy is awaiting the approval from Standing Committee. The parking policy suggests hefty parking charges to park any vehicle excluding bicycle on the city roads for 24 hours.
Currently, the city is facing a crunch of parking space. There are totally 22 pay and parking lots run by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in the city for four-wheeler parking but there is no pay and park facility for two-wheelers. Out of the 22 existing operation parking lots in the entire city, 11 parking lots are located in Peth areas and others in suburban areas. The maximum parking lot structures are multi-storied parking buildings and are being run by private contractors. The parking lots charge Rs 10 per hour to park a car.
In addition to this, on five major roads like Namdar Gopal Krishna Gokhale Path, Jungali Maharaj Road, pay and parking is being implemented.
The aim of the policy is to encourage the use of alternative modes of transport and reduce motor vehicle use (thereby reducing traffic congestion, accidents and pollution), to accommodate new traffic management concepts and respond to traffic problems and use of land with the promotion of environment-friendly measures.
While elaborating on the policy to Sakal Times, Kunal Kumar, Municipal Commissioner, said, “Parking problem in the city is alarming. Abundant parking supply gives rise to more parking demand and the vicious demand-supply cycle goes on. We have parking indoor as well as offside (road) but it is not enough to tackle the parking situation. If we are not able to take a decision right now, it will be a very difficult situation in future. As for the public transport system, we are trying to strengthen the system but we cannot wait till it is complete. In coming years, metro and BRTS will enhance public transport. I appeal to all people, including political parties, non-government organisations to support the policy. Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai are charging fees for parking on roads. If a small city like Ranchi can do it why can’t Pune?”
He further said, “Construction of more parking facilities means encouraging people to buy private vehicles. Parking facilities require space and money. We study policies of different cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai before drafting a policy.”
Pune is the seventh largest city in the country and it is second in rank after Mumbai in Maharashtra. According to Regional Transport Department, there are around 35.50 lakh vehicles registered in 2017. There are 500 to 700 vehicles every day coming on the roads.