By Roopal Shetty
Mangalore, Nov 12, 2014: How often have you cursed yourself looking around for parking your vehicles in Mangaluru city? Every day, I see many struggling to find a place for parking when they go out for shopping or official purpose. Indeed, it is a problem of each and every person who drives vehicles in Mangaluru.
The whole country is going back of the concept of `Smart City’ with each of the towns queuing up to mantle the tag, here we are in a city which is fighting to set the basics in order. One of the major issue that is daunting the city of Mangaluru is its parking woes.
While finding a parking space is a matter of luck for the vehicle owners, there seem to be no sense to adhere to any rules and regulations if at all it exists in some points. Thanks to the illegally occupied basements meant for parking, for commercial activities, the apathy of the policy makers (bureaucrats, politicians and police) and high handedness of various lobbies, the city’s ailment is going from bad to worse.
The traffic police swing into action only on some occasion. Attempts to find a favorable solution to the issue have seen no fruitful results.
Adding to the problem is mushrooming of apartments which grossly violate the norms of stipulated parking space which results in residents finding the roads and footpaths their rightful place to park.
The reasons are manifold, with one being that the parking slots shown at the time of issuing licenses do not match up with actual number of slots on the ground. MCC should get into action into why newer buildings are flouting parking provision rules. A drive around the city will show that most of the residents are forced to park on the roads outside their buildings.
Pay parking holds the key to solving the problem but has become a hotly contested issue with authorities placing the blame at the other’s doorstep. If pay parking is implemented, urban planners argue, the problem of vehicles parked in the city which clog parking slots will be lessened. There used to be pay parking in the city, but it looks like are only one or two.
The city has been looking at multilevel parking for a long time now, but until now nothing has been materialized. Despite junk and non-functioning vehicles being an eyesore to the coastal city, it is incomprehensible that neither the traffic police nor the MCC is able to rid of this menace even as they block premium parking spaces in crowded localities.
With increasing of vehicles day by day in the city, and with not much space available for parking in the city, the question lies now how the MCC will rectify this burden issue, where illegal parking by motorists has been a nuisance to pedestrians, and also a safety hazard to walk on the roads when the walking space is illegally taken by vehicles.
The blame game continues as fingers are pointed at each other, right from the traffic police to the City Corporation and the general public. Who is the real culprit, is a million dollar question.
Whatever is the issue, rules are rules and due to shops in basement there is a severe parking problem in the city and termed these shops as illegal.
The building by laws say that Basement floors shall not be used for purposes other than parking and for locating
Old buildings still lack proper parking facilities. The mayor of Mangaluru while taking to mangaloretoday.com about this issue said,” In olden days there was no problem about parking and the vehicles owned by people was also less so they used to sell the basement space which was kept for parking for commercial purposes. But now each and every one has vehicles and we need a lot of parking space. But we cannot directly demolish the illegal shops in the basement for a simple reason that it will create problems for the one who have their shops there and are already doing business. So we are silent”.