VISAKHAPATNAM: ALMOST a year after the GVMC directed the business establishments to enure cellar parking for customers in the city, it is yet to be implemented properly. Thanks to inadequate enforcement mechanism. After the GVMC identified 331 buildings for mandatory cellar parking, the illegal structures in the cellars were demolished. The commercial establishments were asked to develop their cellars with parking lot and CCTV cameras. However, lack of proper enforcement by the GVMC or by the police, only a few have complied to the norms.
Traffic snarls continue at busy commercial areas in the city, with the shops not having parking lots and customers parking their vehicles on the roadsides. Increase in the number of vehicles and lack of specific parking areas are also adding to the traffic woes. Jagadamba Junction, Zlla Prishad area, Dwarakanagar, Station Road, Dabagardens, Maddilapalem, Gajuwaka and a few other localities witness major traffic jams during the peak traffic hours. Except for Beach Road, no areas in the city has proper parking lots.
Footpaths and part of road are being occupied by bikes due to lack of cellars at major commercial areas like Dabagardens and Dwarakanagar. “There is a no-parking board installed at the Maddilapalem CMR Central. But, who cares? Even police do not enforce the rule. Auto-rickshaws too stop there scouting for commuters and the traffic chaos continues,” said N Lokesh, a student of Andhra University Engineering College. The RTC Complex Junction and the Station Road too are turning out to be zones of woes as many visiting the malls and other shops park their four-wheelers beside the flyover, leading to congestion. Chief city planner D Venkata Ratnam says that most of the cellar areas for the identified buildings has been demolished. But works at some old buildings are pending owing to court cases, while some old buildings have several other issues. “Around 80 per cent establishments use parking space. We do not have major problem with residential complexes, but problems come from business establishments,” he said.