October 17, 2013 6:35:51 am
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil might be advocating the system of underground parking lots wherever possible,but the already existing ones are in a pitiable shape. There are several underground parking lots in different sectors. Lack of proper drainage,no security and unhygienic conditions ensure that the underground parking lots do not find favour among the residents.
Of the several underground parking lots in Sector 17,the one near CMC has been taken over by the traders who are managing it. Similarly,the underground parking lot in Sector 8 is also being managed by the traders of the area. The story for the others is however different. Despite the shortage of parking space in the commercial areas,the underground parking lots continue to be in a state of neglect.
One of the problems is the lack of adequate drainage. Due to this,rainwater tends to accumulate in the underground parking lots. The parking lots do not have adequate lights. The lights that were installed are either missing or damaged. This makes it unsafe for people to park their vehicles. They are also not cleaned properly. Construction waste and garbage lies scattered all around. Some are simply being used to dump material. JPS Kalra,general secretary,Sector 17 Traders Association said,The underground parking lots are not being put to use. These are in a pitiable shape and the shoppers do not prefer parking their vehicles here. Lack of security is a major concern. If the conditions are improved,then people would opt for these.
The MC made several attempts to revive these parking lots. The parking in the underground parking lots was made free of cost. However,with the underground parking lots present along with surface parking lots that are given to contractors who charged the commuters,free parking was not encouraged by them. A proposal was mooted for starting some eating joints or cafeterias near the underground parking lots. This did not take off. Even in residential areas such as Sector 40 where an underground parking lot is present,it is not being used.
Chandigarh has around 9 lakh registered vehicles for a population of 11 lakh people. Shrinking parking spaces is an area of concern. The Administrator is of the view that all new buildings should have the provision for underground parking. He also mooted a proposal for parking lots below parks so that the greenery also remains intact. Mayor Subhash Chawla,earlier, said that efforts are being made to find solutions to ensure that the underground parking lots are put to optimum use.
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