AT LEAST two cars to be parked inside the house, dedicated high frequency bus service on three major roads of the city, provision of two gates in small houses — this is what has been recommended in the parking policy finalised by the UT Administration on Thursday.
The policy will be sent to UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore with these recommendations for final approval and then a draft notification will be issued.
A senior officer of the administration told Chandigarh Newsline, “Dedicated high frequency bus service on three major roads of the city was an actionable point that has been included in the policy during the course of discussion — in order to reduce trips of personal vehicles.”
These three major roads where this dedicated high bus frequency service will be introduced are Madhya Marg from Panchkula to Chandigarh, stretch from Zirakpur to Chandigarh Dakshin marg and stretch from Mohali to Chandigarh Himalaya Marg. According to the administration, these are the three “choke points that see maximum number of personal vehicles, especially during peak hours”.
The transport department has been asked to chalk out all eventualities to ensure this service of high bus frequency on these three major roads.
Talking about residential areas, the officer said, “People now own more than two cars here. In small houses, provision of two gates is to be allowed. Those who have made gardens at corners will have to make some place for parking in order to avoid congestion on roads and possibility of even razing the front boundary wall has been made to make way for parking their vehicles inside the houses. At least two cars are to be parked inside the house.”
Congestion pricing, mandatory parking certificate which were initially included in the policy have been dropped as there were serious objections by the Chandigarh residents.
The meeting was chaired by UT Adviser Manoj Parida. It was attended by the Principal Secretary (Home), Finance Secretary, Transport Secretary, Deputy Commissioner, Municipal Commissioner, UT Chief Engineer, Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic) and various others. The meeting was convened as the parking policy had been lingering on for months.
The policy focuses on solutions which can be practically implemented in Chandigarh. It focuses on electric mobility, people’s participation, technology-based solutions, encouraging more non-motorised transport and e-rickshaws on the main choke points.
The transport department is already working on IT-enabled car pooling system. Companies have been approached to bring in user-friendly software for this.
Reports paint a grim picture
Having a parking policy in Chandigarh is the need of the hour. In August 2018, a report by the Centre for Science and Research had concluded that Chandigarh was the second worst among 14 cities in “per travel trip emissions” due to high usage of personal vehicles. The share of car usage was close to 80 per cent in the city as compared to Lucknow (70 per cent), Ahmedabad (65 per cent) and Jaipur (60 per cent).
More than 86 per cent of households own at least one car or two-wheeler. At present, public transport makes for only 16 per cent of total motorised person trips which is much lower than that recommended in the National Urban Transport Policy. A survey conducted by M/S Rites in 2008 found that the daily total inter-city passenger traffic within the Chandigarh Urban Complex was 4.93 lakh trips (cars, two-wheelers, autorickshaws and buses) about 1.41 lakh of which comprised “through trips” which is 28.7 per cent of the total traffic. Experts say the number of through-trips have spiked in the last 10 years due to unavailability of quality public transport, record per capita personal vehicles and absence of any outer regional connection via rail or road.
Guiding light: Study of three sectors
A study of three sectors was presented at the meeting held to finalise parking policy on Thursday.
The sectors that were studied by the urban planning department included sectors 11, 35 and part of Industrial Area. These sectors were selected for study by the department in three categories — residential, commercial and industrial. Sector 35 was studied for residential parking solution, Sector 11 for commercial and Industrial Area for industrial category.
The recommendations include that Sector 11 market may have a basement parking with landscaping and green space on the surface (in front of shops). Sector 11 market is the most crowded market as the rush from PGI is seen with mostly chemists here. It has been recommended that the area at the surface in front of the shops be landscaped which will attract more people. The parking can be made underground. “It is just the same concept of a mall which we have tried to replicate here,” an officer from the administration said.
In the residential belt of Sector 35, incidental parking solutions have been suggested. Both on-street and off-street parking, community parking have been recommended to ease out congestion in the internal lanes where vehicles are parked right outside the house on the roads.
The department has also suggested that in different pockets of Industrial Area, possibility of multilevel parking has been suggested to the civic body. Even as surface parking has been recommended at some vacant pockets here in the Industrial Area, it was specified that surface parking can hold 1,500 vehicles while multilevel can hold 3,500 vehicles.
“Civic body and traffic police have also recommended enforcement issues in this belt,” the officer said.