Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Parking, waiting hit traffic on road

NEW DELHI: The right turn from the BRT corridor is the first bottleneck on the 4-km-long Press Enclave Road. A regional transport office (RTO) is located on the right-hand corner and many vehicles remain parked on the main road in the first half of the day as people await their turn to take a driving test.

Further up, the road has been widened near the three malls but remains choked as cars, autos and radio cabs are illegally parked on it. Traffic police claim the sheer number of vehicles using the road and the massive encroachment on it makes their task difficult.

Around 7,000 vehicles use Press Enclave Road each day, with the traffic heavier towards Aurobindo Marg. %Traffic cops say residents %of colonies along this road prefer using the other route to avoid using the BRT corridor. For that, traffic coming from Saket turns left while that coming from the opposite %side takes a U-turn whereever there is a break in the central verge.

"This road was initially meant for Press Apartments, the police training school and the villages of Khirki and Hauz Rani. Later, other properties came up along the route, including malls, two hospitals, a Metro station, the RTO, a hotel and some Afghan restaurants. All these have led to a massive increase in unauthorized parking," said a senior traffic police official.

Sources say, when the malls were being built, the owners were supposed to acquire land in front of Hauz Rani Village to set up a parking. However, they didn't do so and this resulted in shortage of parking space. At present, scores of personal vehicles are parked on the main road in front of the malls, especially on weekends when there is no parking space inside. Traffic police say they have put up signs but illegal parking is rampant and there is no space to tow away these cars to.

"Even if we remove all the illegally parked vehicles from this road, where do we take them or where do we ask them to go? There are no alternative parking lots in the area. There was some land marked for parking but there is a high court stay on those plots," said an official.

The road, meant to be 2.5 lanes on each carriageway, has been reduced to a single lane at some points as illegal buildings have come up right on the road. Unauthorized garages on the stretch have also eaten into road space.

Outside the Malviya Nagar Metro station, haphazardly parked autos block the way as public transport is %the only way to access the malls and the hospitals from the station. Traffic police say they had objected to the location of the Saket court and the RTO, and had asked for these to be shifted from Press Enclave Road.

"Traffic congestion on this road is not an enforcement issue. We deploy more than seven personnel thro8ughout the stretch each day to manage traffic. But the sheer volume of traffic makes it difficult. There is no alternative parking space in the area," said Anil Shukla, joint CP (traffic).

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