As the population of Dwarka city is increasing, the issue of parking space is also increasing at a rapid pace. The parking problem in the area is not new, but the condition has got worse. Most of the roads, market places are occupied with parked vehicles. Even the service lanes, that are meant for the smooth access for fire brigade, ambulance or other such emergencies, are being used for parking vehicles.
CitySpidey took a closer look at the problem of parking in the city and found that the issue is related to the planning of markets since the beginning.
There are planned markets in each sector which are called MLUs or Mixed Land Use Markets. These markets were developed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) at the time when the city design was executed. Each market had its respective parking space on its premises, which was followed by the service lanes and main roads. With the rising population, the marketplaces have grown and so are the consumers, which has diluted the gap between service lanes and market parking space. It appears that the DDA had not prepared the city for such a large number of citizens. The condition is even worse in MLUs of sector 6,10,11,12,3 and 4.
On the present parking crisis and planning said one of the DDA officials, on the condition of anonymity who then was a part of the planning said, “ It was thought that the people in the nearby societies would visit such MLUs on foot, but it did not happen. Now the planning seems to be failed and the concept which was adopted is not practical on the ground. This matter was once pointed out by one of the higher officials that something like this would happen after 20 years, and the concept adopted by DDA could be a failure. So, the crisis was known to them and it could have been avoided."
Ramphal Chowk is the oldest market in the area for Dwarka. This is in Sector 7, Palam Extension and Palam too and has been there before the Dwarka city was planned. The market is on both the sides of the road and due to lack of parking facility, visitors are forced to park their vehicles on roadsides only. Besides, encroachment by local businesses, vendors makes the whole area almost inaccessible. Traffic jams on the road from Ganpati Chowk to Brahma Apartment, Sector 7, which is just in the middle of the market is another perennial issue.
Anurag Bahal a resident of Sector 7 said, “The existing problem has made the life tough for the residents as out of compulsion they park the vehicles in no parking zone, from where their vehicles are towed away by the police.” Residents say that on weekends traffic police can allow parking vehicles on one lane of the road, but there is no such option available from either civic agencies or the police. “This issue would get bigger with time and it must be taken seriously by the civic bodies,” said MK Singh whose car was towed once from the road.
In Dwarka, new markets and malls have also started facing parking problems. In the last several markets and malls have come up, but their fronts and road are occupied with parked vehicles. Even in the malls, despite the specified parking space given vehicles are parked on roads, Sector 12 City Centre Mall in Metro corridor, is one such example. Besides, 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 also does not have any parking space. It is an area where shops, banks and other educational institutes are getting open. Though the commercial area is developing into a complete market yet, there is no provision for parking. In that scenario, most of the vehicles will be forced to be parked on the roadside. This overall scenario shows that the civic bodies have been failed to provide parking space to the upcoming marketplaces, therefore, the city design seems to be lacking in some aspects. A 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 and try to get a solution.”
After repeated complaints made by the RWAs and social organisations for the parking space in Sector 6 and 10 market areas, DDA in the year 2010 had developed alternate parking in sector 10, behind Shakuntlam Apartments. The space was available for free and was made for markets of both, sector 6 and 10, but due to the lackadaisical approach from DDA, the parking was never used and the initiative became a big failure.
In 2010 and 2012 a joint survey of the market areas was done by the RWAs, social organisations, police, DDA and MCD to look into the matter, but nothing happened. In 2017, the then Mayor of SDMC, Kamaljeet Sehrawat, visited the markets of Sector 6 and Sector 10 with the team of engineers of Municipal Corporation and DDA officials to get an option for alternate parking, but that also went without any positive output.
Now yet there is no positive sign at present shown by any of the civic bodies like DDA and SDMC on the solution of the parking problem in the developing city. With the rapidly increasing population and occupancy in the area, the problem is getting bigger and will expose the failure of town planning.