Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, November 21
When a survey was conducted for the Smart City Mission over four years ago, many persons from the city voted online for the improvement of traffic management and parking facilities in the city. It was planned to construct two multistorey parking lots and an underground parking lot at various locations in the city to address the issue but nothing has been done so far.
There is no check on a large number of illegal buildings that were constructed without parking arrangements across the city under the nose of the Municipal Corporation and other departments concerned. Besides, no arrangements have been made for parking vehicles at major city markets. Thus, people are forced to park their vehicles on roads in the absence of parking arrangements due to which traffic snarls are a regular affair.
Visitors face inconvenience due to lack of designated parking lots at city markets such as Field Ganj, Model Town, Book Market, Ghumar Mandi, Mall Road, Ferozepur Road, Malhar Road and Pakhowal Road.
The situation is similar near Fountain Chowk, College Road, Jawahar Nagar Camp and a number of old city areas. Besides, a number of commercial buildings, hotels, restaurants, banks, government offices, hospitals, educational institutes, factories among other units in the city lack parking arrangements.
Parking lots are available at Feroze Gandhi Market and Bhadaur House but these are not sufficient for a large number of visitors due to which traffic jams are a common sight there too.
The MC had earlier planned to construct multi-storey parking lots at Feroze Gandhi Market, Book Market and an underground parking lot near Aarti Chowk. According to an official, the MC had failed to get the required land from the Zila Parishad for the construction of a parking lot at the Book Market while its plan for construction of an underground parking lot near Aarti Chowk remained unsuccessful due to the ongoing Elevated Road project on Ferozepur Road. Besides, a proposed multi-storey parking lot project at Feroze Gandhi Market could not be started due to various reasons.
Col Harjap Singh, chairman of the Feroze Gandhi Market Association, said: “Despite five parking lots available at the market, a large number of vehicles were parked on roads wherein traffic jams are common. Many visitors to the district courts, Ghumar Mandi, Ferozepur Road and others also park their vehicles at the Feroze Gandhi market. There is a shortage of parking space on Ferozepur Road too now, due to the ongoing Elevated Road project.”
“We demand from the government to construct a multistorey parking lot on a vacant land that falls under GLADA near Canal Colony and Nehru Sidhant Kendra so that visitors and advocates can park their vehicles easily,” he said.
Sanjay Goel, chairman of the Indian Institute of Architects, Punjab chapter, and one of the directors of Ludhiana Smart City Limited, said: “There is a need of at least 20 multilevel parking lots or underground parking sites for the upcoming smart city. Unfortunately, nothing has been done to construct even a single parking multistorey parking lot since Ludhiana’s name has been announced to be developed as a smart city. The authorities concerned should identify the government land or purchase private land for the project.”
The MC has not even constructed vending zones for roadside street vendors despite their repeated demands. “If such vending zones are constructed at the earliest, the vendors will not be forced to station their carts on the roadside and it will help resolve traffic-related problems,” said a vendors’ union leader.
Meanwhile, Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu could not be contacted for comments.
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