Nagpur News: With the High Court directing Nagpur Improvement Trust to start newly constructed multi level parking at Variety Square within a week’s time, concerns are being pointed to have more such facilities in almost every busy areas of Nagpur. The apathy of NMC officials towards the emerging problem can be gauged from the simple fact they have been waiting for the Chief Minister to inaugurate the parking facility despite the structure got ready to use for the past three months. The High Court’s intervention in the matter for the larger interest of the people is remarkable. However more needs to be done on developing city’s parking infrastructure.
No rule for parking space till 1990
Development specialists believe that the haphazard planning of Nagpur has led to the monstrous parking problem which was ignored till 1990 when there was no specific regulation to keep parking area reserved while erecting any residential or commercial structure. Chandralok Building and Seva Sadan building on Central Avenue road and the District Court building are the clear examples of unplanned structures in Nagpur.
The post independence period between 1947 and 1990 played crucial in shaping up the modern structure of Nagpur. During the development phase along this period, no heed was paid towards creating parking space for future needs. It was then deemed unnecessary and wastage of space to assign area for parking as there was limited traffic and less number of vehicles on city roads. Later the need to allot space for parking in any commercial and residential erection was felt post 1990 by when the population already climbed up exponentially. The number of two and four wheelers hitting the roads too multiplied enormously with the rise of middle class during that period. This void has led to the worrisome parking situation today.
British buildings hold ample space
Analysts feel that the buildings in Nagpur that were constructed during British regime in the pre-Independence era bears designated parking arrangements. This points towards futuristic view over traffic situation in Nagpur. British had perfect foresight and their infrastructure projects had strength, space and design to suit decades of future requirements. This can be established from existing railway over bridge constructed by British almost 125 years back when there were comparatively less number of motor vehicles in Nagpur. Still their engineers gave enough width and strength that strongly suits city’s requirements even in today’s times. Buildings constructed during British regime in city have either ample parking or has lately started showing insufficiency, for example High Court, Secretariat, Collectorate, Railway Station, etc. Even these buildings have enough capacity for parking vehicles but sheer lack of conscious efforts on the part of administration has turned these places over flooded with vehicles.
Modern construction failed on traffic count
The non-visionary approach of NMC and concerned authorities is evident from the fact that even the so called modern erections have started showing signs of congestion. Mangalwari Flyover, Kamal Chowk Flyover and many others have been functioning choked under heavy traffic hardly within a decade of their existence. Similar is the case with parking.
Parking bomb to go off anytime
If the number of vehicles being registered everyday at RTO is any indication then the enormity of problem in near future can be better understood. Statistics reveal that more people are switching to four wheelers, thanks to the improvised economic strata of the city. But there seems to be little or no initiative towards accommodating those vehicles on and off roads. Instead 24 busy roads in Nagpur are being proposed to turn into ‘no parking zones.’ Moreover, the citizens are often distressed over the traffic cops lifting their two wheelers and tucking jammers to their four wheelers for parking vehicles elsewhere. With so little space to park, the commuters haplessly park their vehicles wherever they get space. This often leads to scuffles and verbal exchanges between traffic cops and the people. Wonder if the citizens turn violent over parking issues? It’s high time the administration needs to wake up to the problem that’s acquiring volatile proportions, BEFORE IT GETS TOO LATE.
… Input Tejinder Singh Renu