In 2022, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) set an ambitious goal to introduce on-street parking at 75 locations, aiming to alleviate the persistent issue of haphazard parking in the city. However, the reality is starkly different, with only 11 spots being operational in the past two years.
What Caused the Delay?
The primary cause for this delay lies in the NMC’s ( Nagpur Municipal Corporation) failure to collaborate effectively with the traffic police. Out of the initially proposed 75 locations, objections were raised by the traffic police for 64 sites, creating a significant roadblock. The consequence? Only a fraction of the intended on-street parking spots materialized.
Joint Inspection for a Fresh Start
Recognizing the need for a cohesive approach, both the NMC and the traffic police have now committed to conducting a joint inspection of each identified spot. Ravindra Bundhade, NMC executive engineer (traffic), emphasizes the importance of this collaboration to streamline the implementation of on-street parking.
Under-Street Parking: A Relief for Motorists
Amidst the challenges faced in executing on-street parking plans, the NMC introduces a temporary solution – under-street parking. Motorists can park their vehicles along the road without incurring any charges, providing a momentary respite from the complications associated with on-street parking.
First Phase Implementation
In the initial phase, the NMC traffic department proposed ten areas for on-street parking. However, this faced resistance from the traffic police, who objected to eight of the selected roads. This lack of coordination has been a recurring issue, leading to a less-than-smooth implementation process.
Concerns Raised by Traffic Police
Traffic police officers express concerns over allowing parking on busy roads, particularly those witnessing high commercial activities. According to their preliminary observations, such spots are not conducive to on-street parking as it could severely disrupt traffic flow. Striking a balance between addressing parking concerns and maintaining smooth traffic movement becomes crucial.
Unearthing the Traffic Woes
Despite Nagpur having wider roads compared to other metropolitan cities, traffic congestion persists due to rampant haphazard parking. Many commercial building parking lots are misused for alternative purposes, forcing visitors to resort to on-road parking.
Lack of Expert Consultation
Critics highlight the NMC’s failure to consult with traffic police and experts when selecting on-street parking spots. A comprehensive survey of all busy roads within the proposed on-street parking zones is deemed essential to identify and address potential issues like hawking zones and traffic congestion.
Escalating Penalties for Haphazard Parking
A closer look at traffic police actions against motorists parking indiscriminately on roads reveals a significant increase in penalties. From 22,658 cases in 2021, the number surged to 89,944 cases in 2023, marking a substantial 75% rise. This highlights the urgent need for a systematic approach to parking solutions in Nagpur.
As the city grapples with the complexities of on-street parking, collaborative efforts between the NMC and the traffic police emerge as a key strategy for a more efficient and sustainable solution. The journey towards organized and hassle-free parking in Nagpur necessitates a holistic approach, encompassing expert opinions, comprehensive surveys, and a shared vision for a traffic-friendly cityscape.