BHUBANESWAR: Parking of vehicles in downtown and upmarkets of the top Smart City is in disarray. Though the City's civic administration is sketching plans of improving lifestyle, urban mobility and non-motorised transport, a basic infrastructure like parking is being neglected.
A major cause of parking woes in the State Capital is centralisation of floating tenders. Under the current practice, a central committee of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) decides and declares which place is vacant and can be used for parking. While the declaration is done on the basis of a report from the respective zone or an internal inquiry, the feedback from traffic police is sought only on a few occasions. This has resulted in a sort of conflict between lease holders and zonal staff who deal with parking.
Sources said it has been over two years since BMC decentralised its administrative boundaries into three zones - North, South East, South West. However, the parking rights allocation still remains with the Corporation's headquarters.
''A section of the BMC had proposed to decentralise the allocation of parking tenders. However, another group argued that if the process is decentralised, the Zonal Development Commissioners will float their own individual policies which may lead to conflict over parking fees across the City,'' an official of the Housing and Urban Development Department said.
With the current system in effect, the field level staff of the three zones have little authority over the parking vendors. If a common guideline on allocation of parking lots is issued, the zonal officials will be bound to obey it, he added.
Moreover, BMC is yet to implement an automated ticketing system by which one parking receipt can be used over a particular stretch for a stipulated period.
A four-wheeler owner Ramesh Swain said on the 6-km stretch between Vani Vihar square and Bapuji Nagar, I shell out a whopping `100 towards parking fees if I halt at five different places. ''Moreover, The fee is same even if a commuter uses the parking slots for less than an hour,'' he said.
Adding to the woes of citizens, the Commissionerate of Police, which rues over limited infrastructure for enforcement, does little to evict illegally parked vehicles on major roads of the City during peak hours.