Citizens divided – some apprehensive about the parking fees. Traffic police, however, feel the law could aid decongestion efforts.
By Niket Nishant
The traffic police in Bangalore are hoping for a speedy implementation of the Management and Maintenance of Parking Rules, a draft Bill that would make street-parking payable and aid decongestion efforts in the city.
The Management and Maintenance of Parking Rules is a draft bill which seeks to do away with free parking on the streets. If passed without amendments, it would mandate paid street parking in the city. It was proposed in 2018 and had even got the approval of the Cabinet. However, it has not been passed yet.
On September 2, the Supreme Court, while acknowledging that “[t]he tendency of individuals is to save as much money as possible and not pay anything for parking”, directed the Delhi government to notify the Management and Maintenance of Parking Rules before 30.9.19.
The traffic police believe that the law would be a great help in arresting the rise in the number of vehicles in the city, thereby doing away with the problem of congestion, to some extent. “The population of Bengaluru has swelled greatly. Consequently, the number of vehicles has increased too and the infrastructure, especially roads, has not been able to keep up. We know that this will be an additional burden on the people but it is necessary,” said Mr. Manjunath, Manager of Court Files at the Madiwala Traffic Police Station, which has one of the 10 traffic “black spots” under its jurisdiction.
The Assistant Executive Engineer, BBMP Contact Point at Doddamavalli said, “Street parking is a baby-step. It will have to be backed up with other efforts too. There should also be limitation on the registration of vehicles and public transport should be used more.”
Residents, however, have varied opinions on the subject, “Over-crowded areas might need such a law. But the entire city doesn’t. Those who don’t live in congested areas will be unnecessarily burdened because the law says that fees will have to be paid for parking of one’s own vehicle in front of her/his house too,” said Mr. Rishikesh Jha, a student of Engineering and an avid motorist.
Owners of private parking-spaces are also concerned. “We rent out spaces for short and long terms alike. Our business will be completely ruined if the law were to be implemented,” said Mr. Ajay, owner of a private parking space at Goraguntepalya in Yeshwanthpur.
On the other hand, Mr. Jagadesh, Secretary of the Residents’ Welfare and Cultural Association at J.P. Nagar says, “The law delineates certain areas for parking in residential areas. So it will not be a problem.”
Traffic expert Mr. M.N. Sreehari says, “Streets are not meant for parking. There should be separate areas for it and these should be payable. Street-parking has made the city very congested.”
Congested roads have been a major problem in Bengaluru. An analysis done by the Boston Consulting Group, in association with Uber, puts the social cost of congestion in Bangalore at $ 5.92 billion dollars. Besides this, 162 percent more time is required to travel in peak hours in the city, while the Asia average for the same is 67 percent.