PART I: Poor town planning leads to severe parking problems in Dwarka
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PART I: Poor town planning leads to severe parking problems in Dwarka

Several initiatives, including surveys, were taken by the civic bodies concerned in the past but the issue remains a perennial one!

PART I: Poor town planning leads to severe parking problems in Dwarka This is one of the service lanes which has been occupied by cars and other vehicles

People in Dwarka, as we all know, are already battling several issues - parking is one of them. Lack of proper parking facilities, especially in market areas, irks locals and visitors, resulting in verbal fights, scuffles and sometimes even murder!

Moreover, service lanes along the master plan roads and markets, which were made so that fire tenders, ambulances or any such emergency vehicles get smooth access, are now being used for parking cars.

The situation has become so worse that vehicles on the service lanes are being parked on both sides; leaving just a narrow space to walk through or commute. Besides, parking cars on main roads in front of the market area create all sorts of problems for the commuters during the evenings and weekends.

While discussing the issue with the locals, City Spidey found out that the problem lies with the Town Planning itself, posing serious challenges for the developing and upcoming establishments as well!

 MLUs - Mixed Land Use markets

There are planned markets in each sector near the societies, which are loosely called as MLUs. These were developed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) since the inception of the sub-city and developed in such a way that there were ample spaces on the premises for parking purposes.  Following these, service lanes and master plan roads were constructed. Simultaneously, the population increased, the demand for different products increased and new shops occupied the region, making the situation worse for all. One can gauge the scenario looking at the MLUs of Sector 3, 4, 6, 10, 11 and 12. According to residents, the premises now have a limited capacity to accommodate vehicles for parking.

Talking about the present parking crisis, a DDA official, who was part of the town planning then, said on the condition of anonymity, “It was planned keeping in mind that people residing nearby would visit these markets as pedestrians but that did not happen! It has proved to be a failure as the concept adopted is non-pragmatic now. The issue was once pointed out by one of the higher officials when it was being planned, raising concerns about the impact it would have after 20-25 years. It means they were aware of the situation and could have avoided it.”

Unplanned markets, encroachments

Ramphal Chowk, located in Sector 7, is the oldest market in Dwarka. But one would observe that there is no parking space on the premises of the market, compelling visitors to park their vehicles on the roads.

Besides, vendors and shopkeepers have encroached the footpaths, main roads, making it a difficult stretch to cross. Traffic jams on major intersections, too, has become a perennial issue.

PD Agrawal a resident of Radha Krishna Apartments Sector 7 said, “This issue has made life tough for the residents. We are left with no option than parking our vehicles in no parking zone and as a result, they get towed away by the police.”

Residents feel that on weekends, there must be some provision by the traffic police to allow parking in one lane of the road.

“It is becoming a contentious issue and must be taken seriously by the civic bodies concerned,” said Pramila Malik of Sector 22 Jagran Apartments whose car was towed once when parked there.

New markets, malls sans parking space

Besides MLUs, merging new markets and malls have also started facing parking-related problems. Despite having enough parking spaces on the premises, people tend to park their vehicles on roads. Such a scene is evident in front of Sector 12 City Centre Mall in the metro corridor.

There is absolutely no space available for parking in the new market along the road from KM Chowk towards Vidyut Chowk in Sector 12 and from the chowk of Sector 4/12 towards Bal Bharti School.

Talking to City Spidey over the issue, member of Dwarka Forum, Rejimon CK said, “There is a dire need to look into the matter. Traffic police, local police, civic bodies together should think upon it and try to come up with solution.”

Past initiatives go in vain!

Following repeated complaints by the RWAs and social organisations, regarding parking space in Sectors 6 and 10 market areas, alternative parking was developed by the DDA in the year 2010 in Sector 10 behind Shakuntlam Apartments. Space was available free of cost but due to the lackadaisical approach of the DDA, it was never used and the initiative turned out to be a big failure.

Besides, a joint survey of the market areas was conducted by the RWAs, social organisations, police, DDA and MCD in 2010 and 2012 to look into the matter but all in vain!

Similarly, in the year 2017, the then Mayor of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), Kamaljeet Sehrawat visited the markets of Sectors 6 and 10 with the team of engineers of Municipal Corporation of Delhi and also the DDA. She asked them to find out a solution to this issue and also wrote to the DDA in this regard but the civic body refused to give space for the development of parking in the area.

As locals, residents, commuters or visitors, we can hope for an amicable way to deal with it but unfortunately, there are no positive signs from any of the civic bodies concerned to resolve this issue.