RAPID URBANISATION has called for the urgent need for stringently imposing the provisions of parking rules in Kozhikode city.
Just like any other metros, civic authorities here are also facing the challenge to solve the acute space crunch in the city. Property boom and increase in vehicular population have contributed to this aspect.
Corporation officials say that property builders and real estates have been asked to comply with parking rules during construction.
However, the vertical growth of the city within its jurisdiction of 82 square kilometres is compelling officials to be sterner in dealing with the offenders.
"Commercial establishments have been asked to adhere to the mandatory provision of creating parking spaces for customers," says an official at the Town Planning Department.
Earlier, commercial establishments did not bother much about providing parking space to customers. Spaces for off-street and on-street parking were then readily available. Now the situation is totally different, they say.
Usually apartments stick to the provisions so as to market their units even if these are constructed is in the heart of the city. Ground floors are usually converted into parking spaces for all the allottees, he says.
However, officials admit that one of the major problems is the narrow roads in the city. Vehicular population alone cannot be sole factor to the space crunch in recent times. But it has to be mentioned that the rate of growth of vehicles is 12 per cent to 15 per cent in a decade. On an average there are 70 to 80 motor vehicles for every 1,000 person.
Interestingly, the population density in the inner city area is 5,280 persons per sq.km. while it is 2,486 persons per sq.km. in the outer fringes of the city, as per the figures of the 2001 Census.
As per a study conducted in the city, the average daily traffic flow was 50,000 vehicles per day at Mankavu Junction-Arayadathupalam section of Mini Bypass and 15,000 vehicles on Francis Road. Peak-hour traffic varied at inner and intermediate city road sections.
High-traffic volume is exerting pressure on the narrow urban roads causing frequent congestions and accidents. Annual daily traffic in the range of about 20,000 to 55,000 passenger car units was observed in the inner city, 32,000 to 50,000 in intermediate city roads and 5,000 to 15,000 on roads in the periphery of the city.
Major junctions on Mavoor Road, Rajaji Road, Pottamal, Chevayur, Mankavu, Meenchanda , Karaparamba and Eranhipalam are experiencing parking problems.
Palayam, the urban section of NH 17, Francis Road, Railway Station Road, Mananchira and Pavamani Road are major parking demand corridors in the central part of the city. Shopping complexes and wholesale markets have generated more demand for on-street parking for passengers and goods vehicle at the market areas. At the same time the non-availability of off-street parking at residential and commercial areas leads to a frequent traffic blocks.
Suggestions have now come up to improve the inter-city traffic road corridors and intra-city traffic corridors. Apart from construction new roads and improving existing ones, Kozhikode Corporation is also taking steps to establish new bus terminals at West Hill, Medical College and Vellimadukunnu.
As per the new master plan of the city road overbridges have been proposed at Bhatt Road and Fourth Gate. Likewise projects have been envisaged for mass transport system, area development scheme at Stadium Junction, Satellite Township at Kunnamangalam, restructuring the Palayam subway to pedestrian subway-cum-shopping mall and greening the arterial corridors.
Kozhikode Mayor M. Bhaskaran says that multi-level parking has become a necessity in view of the increasing demand for parking spaces in the city. Promotion of off-street parking will help reduce the congestion. Private land owners will be encouraged to offer facilities for off-street parking.
Construction of multi-storeyed parking lots at Muthalakulam, Palayam, Mananchira, Mankavu and Arayadathupalam and re-routing the buses would help in making more spaces in the city.
But most essentially property developers have to abide by the rules in making their own parking facilities.
Housing boom has immensely contributed to urbanisation in a big way in Kozhikode city, which accounts for over 40 per cent of the urban population in the district. Long-term measures have to be adopted with commercial establishments mushrooming in residential areas.
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