The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has decided to implement a parking policy. The draft of the policy prepared by Shravan Hardikar-led PCMC administration will be placed before the civic General Body meeting this week for approval. Even before it is approved, civic activists have raised objections, stating that the policy does not cover narrow, internal roads where fights over parking are a common scene on a daily basis.
The policy envisages parking charges based on higher demand for parking in a particular area. The areas have been divided into various zones. For instance, at places where there is 80 to 100 per cent demand on any given day for parking, it will come under Zone A. Similarly, areas with 60 to 80 per cent demand will be called Zone B, areas with 40 to 60 per cent demand will fall under Zone C and Zone D will cover areas with parking demand of less than 40 per cent. The administration has, however, decided to keep Zone D out of the parking policy for now. Based on equivalent car space theory, one four-wheeler will be charged Rs 20, Rs 15 and Rs 10 in different zones A, B and C respectively for every hour while two-wheeler will similarly charged at Rs 4, Rs 3 and Rs 2 for every hour of parking. For residential parking between 11 am and 8 pm, residents will have to pay Rs 9,325 for an annual pass, or Rs 25 per day.
At a meeting with political leaders in PCMC, Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said the parking policy will initially cover highways and key locations and after two years, internal roads will also be incorporated. The policy will be implemented on 14 busy roads. The proposed parking policy covers all BRTS roads, Pimpri Camp, Bhosarigaon, Nashik Phata flyover, Chinchwad, Pimpri, Kasarwadi, Akurdi railway station area, Dehu Alandi Road, Pradhikaran area and Bhumkar Chowk to KSB Chowk.
At the meeting, the civic chief pointed out that parking policy was needed in view of the rapid growth of population and number of vehicles in the industrial city. “Population of Pimpri-Chinchwad has doubled between 2001 and 2017. In 2001, the population was 10.64 lakh, which by 2017, stood at 21 lakh. Similarly, during the same period, number of vehicles increased from 2.1 lakh to 15.68 lakh. There are 11.69 lakh two-wheelers and 2.54 lakh four-wheelers registered with the RTO. A total of 21 lakh residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad have 16 lakh vehicles, which is aggravating the traffic situation by the day,” the administration said.
Criticising the policy, activist Deepak Pardeshi, a resident of Nehrunagar, said the parking policy has not paid attention to the narrow internal roads, which are used by all kinds of vehicles to park through the day. “This makes impossible for other residents to move their vehicles out. If another vehicles comes from opposite direction, it leads to jams and frequent fights,” he said. Ganesh Sambherao, a manager with a private firm and a resident of Kasarwadi, said: “I fear a murder will take place on the Goyal Residency Road in Kasarwadi. Everyday, those who work in Sagar corner building and those living nearby chawls park their vehicles on the Goyal Residency Road, leaving absolutely no space for local residents to take their vehicle on the highway. There is a fight going on over the parking issue every hour of the day. I hope the PCMC will ban parking on narrow roads like this one and avoid any untoward incident.”
Rajesh Tope, who works with a firm in Bhosari, said the problem is more serious on narrower internal roads than highways. “It is clear that the PCMC administration has no feel of the pulse of Pimpri-Chinchwad. Be it Dapodi, Phugewadi, Kasarwadi, Pimpri, Chinchwad or Bhosari, the internal roads in gaothan areas have become a cause of contention. People who do not have parking space freely park their vehicles on the narrower roads, creating big inconvenience,” he said. BJP corporator Asha Shendge said the issue of internal roads not been considered for parking policy will be discussed in the forthcoming general body meeting.