Parking of vehicles in capital cities


Parking of vehicles in the main cities and towns of Jammu and Kashmir has assumed besetting proportions in that on the one hand while the vehicle owners are increasingly feeling exasperating where to park the vehicle as almost all spots on the already congested roads hardly provide that elasticity and at the same time , there being no set policy and planning from the Government to resolve the problem of parking of the vehicles. Does Jammu and Kashmir really have an efficient, effective and well planned Parking Policy for parking of vehicles in the sense of strict implementation as the one was notified in the year 2011 by the JMC and such an arrangement made for Srinagar too in 2019? Are there proper laws and bye-laws governing such a policy ? Is an understanding and proper cooperation between various stake holders , concerned departments along with a well established monitoring arrangement to oversee such a vital issue that of vehicles’ parking ? Looking to incessant increase in the volume of plying of vehicles as against limited and congested roads with very few parking slots, mostly managed by private owners, making the authorities concerned serious enough to regulate proper parking of vehicles ? The answer to all these cardinal issues related to parking is in the negative. Can there be a choice of adopting an ostrich’s approach or a preference for addressing the issue even belatedly but seriously? It is hard to believe that even a period of a decade has been found too short to do anything about the issue by the concerned Housing and Urban Development Department as it has not framed the bye-laws for parking of vehicles in the twin capital cities of Jammu and Kashmir. The issue having been taken in the meetings of the Road Safety Council but the concerned Housing and Urban Development Department having not acted upon the directives nor submitted the Action Taken Report since 2011 only point towards an absolute casual approach to the issue. At the outset , it hardly needs to be brought home to the concerned authorities that erratic, irregular, wrong and haphazard parking of vehicles not only result in impeding the normal traffic on roads resulting in jams and congestions but very often contribute to even road accidents. It may be seen as to how even those roads which are in the interiors of the cities are used on both sides for overnight parking of the vehicles, even many during daytime too , that it becomes very difficult for passing of any emergency vehicle like an ambulance or a fire service vehicle through such illegally occupied roads for parking let alone flow of regular traffic. Even in the lanes of most of the residential colonies such a practice is going on with impunity since there are no specific laws for parking. We reiterate that the Bench of the High Court had even directed the Government to make it incumbent upon the owner of a vehicle as a pre-condition for registration of a new vehicle to have parking space in his or her own residence. It is to be underlined that Road Safety Council as also the High Court having passed on requisite directives in this connection have not been accorded due regard resulting in the problem remaining as it is. The other part of the issue is not only making of laws and bye- laws but making such arrangements where parking facilities of vehicles at different slots in these two cities are provided at normal rates. For that, acquiring of space is important as that would serve as parking places /areas in the absence of which apprehensions of more violations of such laws than compliance thereof cannot be ruled out. Since Road Safety Council as an advisory body having taken a serious view of the matter and given one more month’s time to submit compliance report too has lapsed , yet the Housing and Urban Development Department has not acted in the matter by submitting a copy of the bye-laws . We urge the concerned department to address the issue at an early date realising the critical nature and importance of regulating parking of vehicles.