Choked roads with parked vehicles eating into the carriageway have assumed epic proportions in Pune.The civic budget in an attempt to bring some method to the madness has proposed a parking policy under which heavy parking charges will be introduced on 40 major roads.
The policy aims to reduce use of personal vehicles and instead promote public transport.
A high parking fee is expected to act as a deterrent to the unchecked use of private vehicles in the city , causing congestion an chaos. The civic administration said it has a comprehensive parking policy because of the increasing use of private vehicles by citizens which has put a heavy burden on the roads. The policy has become a necessity now as the numbers of individual cars and two-wheelers are growing every year.
The administration has estimated that about 50% of the city’s vehicular traffic is private. Free parking on roads was encouraging the use.Besides, illegal parking along the roadside and on the footpaths are also leading to chaos. Walkers are not able to make use of footpaths because of the encroachments by vehicle users.
Municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar said the budget’s focus on the parking policy was an attempt to promote public transport and make citizens use public transport vehicles.
He said the administration cannot ban people from using private vehicles but it can take steps to promote the use of public transport. “Most roads in the city are overburdened at present due to the plying of private vehicles in large numbers. Heavy parking charges will be a deterrent for people using their own vehicles and parking on the roads. The policy will propose different slabs of parking fees depending on areas and location of roads directly proportional to parking demand,“ Kumar said.
A senior PMC official said the city is adding at least two lakh vehicles every year.
Many households have not only a two-wheeler but also a car. Some have several two-wheelers and cars that each individual uses.
The roads are not equipped to cater to parking spaces for every vehicle. Therefore, there was a need to encourage a shift from personal modes of travel, to public transport, walking or cycling.
Use of public transport could help in better management of traffic, reduction in accidents, congestion, pollution and dependency on personal modes of transportation, official said.
Pune’s lifeline Bhama Askhed plan gets Rs 150cr
Sustained and adequate supply of water for the city depends on Bhama Askhed dam. The civic budget has looked into the future and allocated funds for the completion of the project so that it does not depend on financial assistance from the Union government.
The budget has made a special provision of nearly Rs 150 crore.
Civic officials said the project will cost around Rs 380 crore of which the PMC has spent around Rs 110 crore and Rs 120 was expected from the Union government under JNNURM. The deadline to get these funds ends on Friday Municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar, in his budget proposal, said the project would be completed before the year-end.“It an important water supply projects for the city. It should not be affected due to lack of funds,“ he said.
–Prasad Kulkarni & Sarang Dastane
Source : TOI