The fast shrinking parking spaces in Chandigarh have officials and experts searching for options in this landlocked city. But the proposal of UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil for parking cars on rooftops of buildings is something which the experts are finding hard to associate with. They feel that the proposal is not feasible in the already existing buildings,and with Chandigarh lacking space for new buildings,there is not much scope for implementation of the administrators idea.
Patil has,more than once,during his stint in Chandigarh advocated parking cars on rooftops of buildings. More recently,he mooted the idea during the foundation stone laying of the multilevel parking lot in Sector 17. Apart from stating that he would not approve building plans till a provision for underground parking was made,he suggested that possibility of parking cars on rooftops should be explored.
Architect Surinder Bahga,who is also a nominated councillor,says,The structural design of existing buildings is not feasible for allowing parking of cars on rooftops. The foundations of the buildings are not strong enough for taking so much weight. In case of an earthquake or any other disaster,there are more chances of vehicle catching fire and destroying the building. Lifts and ramps would be required for taking the cars up.
Maintaining that 99 per cent of the buildings in the city are already constructed,he says that provision for parking on rooftop had been made at a mall in Ludhiana more than a decade back. Adequate infrastructure is required for this purpose.
The experts maintain that a car weighs 800 kilos or more on average. This is too much weight for the roof of a house or shop to bear. Further,there are several restrictions in Chandigarh,including stringent byelaws,height restrictions and zoning restrictions. Making provisions for parking on rooftop in case of new buildings would also enhance the cost of construction with the requirement of accompanying infrastructure life ramps and lifts.
Principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture Dr Pradeep Bhagat says that the width of columns of buildings reduces as these move upwards as less weight is to be borne. It is feasible to have parking on rooftop in case of shopping malls or similar bigger structures. However,in already existing buildings,modifications cannot be made for such provisions, he adds.
Chandigarh has around 9 lakh registered vehicles for a population of 10.55 lakh. With a large number of families owning more than one car,there is a shortage of parking spaces. At night,in most of the sectors,vehicles are lined on both sides of the roads. There have been instances when emergency vehicles faced a hard time in passing through the internal roads. Several proposals including constructing community parking lots,multilevel parking lots as well as creating space around the parks by installing paver blocks have been implemented. The problem,however,continues.