Sunday, September 1, 2013

Parking woes to get worse

Kochi: With the Metro rail work gathering momentum and work along MG Road all set to start soon, parking problems will worsen in the city. Motorists will have a tough time ahead as the Metro authorities plan a total ban on parking along MG Road.
No agency, including the corporation, traffic police or the district administration has any idea about alternative arrangements for parking. Though the Kochi Metro Rail Limited expressed interest in renovating the Subhash Bose Park by providing parking space facility at its northern end, the proposal didn’t find favour with the corporation. The KMRL authorities are yet to submit a formal proposal, but the local body is against the concept of providing parking facility within the park.
“We will not allow any part of the Subhash Bose Park to be converted into a parking area. The city has only 0.3 per cent of open space, while urban planning norms stipulate 10 to 15 per cent of open space. So, no parking can be allowed in the park which is one of the few open spaces in the city”,  said K.J Sohan, corporation Town Planning Committee Chairman.
Meanwhile, sources at the KMRL said they have no plans to change the existing structure and had only made a suggestion to revamp the park. The plan was to replace the damaged equipment, make a turf and to provide proper lighting.
According to urban planners, unless coordinated efforts are made, the only way out for people is to walk along the road after parking their vehicles at places far from their venues of interest, till the metro work gets over. “The number of people coming to MG Road will fall when the metro work starts.
However, proper parking facilities have to be provided near Vyttila mobility hub and other vacant spaces near the highway. If hop on-hop off buses are introduced to connect parking areas to MG Road and other city centres, the issue can be resolved to a certain extent”, said D.Dhanuraj, Chairman of the Centre for Public Policy Research, a city-based think-tank which conducted several studies on parking.

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