In a unique initiative, many “no parking” boards in Hyderabad's crowded areas are being replaced by “free parking” boards.
This move comes as part of Hyderabad Traffic Police's aim to provide 400 sites where free parking will be available to the public, in a bid to tackle the growing parking mafia in the city.
According to a report in Deccan Chronicle, out of the 25 traffic police stations in the city, 20 free parking facilities are being set up, mainly to discourage the parking mafia, reduce challans on wrong parking and to provide a public facility.
South Zone DCP (Traffic) A.V. Ranganath told DC, “Earlier, traffic police used to issue challans for wrong parking, but imposing fines has not solved the issue. Instead, identifying space and allocating it for parking will streamline it. Counseling was held for shopkeepers who have come forward to coordinate. In areas where space is not available, a portion of the road (not hindering traffic) will be used for parking.”
This move is a welcome change as Hyderabad's vehicle density is on the rise and a lack of parking space congests the streets of the city.
Reports also add that the Andhra Pradesh Building Rules 2012 applicable to Hyderabad, dictate that 40% of every commercial building's built up area must be allotted for parking, which is not done, as builders construct business outlets in the parking spaces to pocket extra money.
The Times of India had earlier reported:
While the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has been making tall claims about building multi-level parking lots, nothing has materialized so far. As per the plan, the civic body was to construct four such parking complexes at Imax, Kukatpally, Saroornagar and Miyapur by 2015. Turns out, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) refused to part with land for the purpose, thus putting a spanner in the works. And that's not all; a cursory glance through GHMC's records reveals that it hasn't spent a single rupee to fix the parking problem since 2013!
"Time and again we have sent representations to the GHMC asking it to come up with new parking lots. But, its actions have been limited to holding discussions on the subject. It has done nothing on the ground," Jitender, additional commissioner of police, traffic had told the newspaper.
There are roughly 50 authorised GHMC parking lots presently in the city. However, a lot of these parking lots are known to flout the rules and encroach on land that was not allotted to them.
Even in the case of private parking lots, the lease, depending on the area, costs anywhere between Rs 50,000 and Rs 15 lakh, and there is no restriction on how much they can charge.