A lot of congestion and no space to park

Bangalore City

Lack of dedicated spaces at the metro station means that citizens have to park their vehicles on roads which causes more congestion all over the city.

Bengaluru: Bengaluru Metro is for all citizens except for the ones who use a vehicle to get to the metro stations.

Commuters travelling to the metro stations with their vehicles find it difficult to park due to parking spaces’ paucity. Harish S, a worker at Cubbon Park, had his vehicle towed away thrice as he couldn’t find a place to park near the Attiguppe metro station. “Having a parking space near metro station would make it more convenient for me to travel and not worry about my vehicle being towed away.”  With no parking space available and a rush to catch the metro, people haphazardly park their vehicles on the sides of the roads obstructing the traffic around metros, because of which the city traffic police then tow vehicles.

Bengaluru’s traffic police tows away illegally parked vehicles.

Harish is not the only one facing this problem.

Need for action is required. to provide a dedicated parking space in each metro station, commuters said. Saurav Y, a student from Oxford Medical College said, “ Not every station has a parking space. Vijayanagar metro station doesn’t have a dedicated parking space for four-wheelers and the space for two-wheelers is really less. More space should be provided.”

“While Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has called for tenders for awarding the license to operate parking lots near metro station, there is a parking facility at only 25 metro stations out of the 40, which licensed contractors run.” said T.L. Ravi Prakash, Public Relation Officer, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).

Moreover, Bengaluru city has seen growth in population and consequently in the number of vehicles registered in the city. In 2019, the number of registered vehicles crossed 18 lakhs, and over 10 percent of vehicles are registered every year, according to a report by the Urban Development Department (UDD).

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) and Urban Development Department (UDD) report showed that high parking demand in multiple areas of the city has reduced road capacity up to 50 percent due to on-street parking.

Many metro stations still don’t have parking space, and parking spaces near the metro station in major market areas like the K.R. market are mostly filled to capacity due to the high demand, said Mahesh, who works at the ticket counter at K.R. market’s parking space.

One solution to vehicular congestion was introducing the Bangalore metro rail, according to a statement by the former Bengaluru’s commissioner for transport and road safety, Rame Gowda. While this was a way to reduce the city’s vehicle congestion, it has only increased the congestion around the metro stations, said Traffic Expert MN Sreehari.

Sreehari added, “As per the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of metro prepared byRail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), parking spaces are supposed to be planned along with the metro stations to develop the first and the last mile connectivity. Unfortunately, a few handful of metro stations have parking spaces. The ones that don’t have any see vehicular congestion near them.”

During the planning of metro stations, there was a shortage of available land space near metro stations, said T.L. Ravi Prakash, Public Relation Officer, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).” Currently, there are bids for six stations to provide for parking space, and the rest still have no bidders,” he added.

Urban Planner Shrimoyee Bhattacharya, who works at WRI India, said that the government and the land transport department should develop ways in which the public transport system is well connected, which would reduce the need for parking space altogether.