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Doing away with idle parking

IFP Editorial: Perhaps, the time has come for the government and municipal authorities to enact a law to prohibit vehicle parking on all roads and to make it mandatory for every vehicle owner to have own parking spaces for their vehicles in their Ingkhols or rent commercial garages.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 6 Apr 2022, 2:41 am

Thangal Bazar, Imphal, Manipur (Photo: Thomas Ngangom_IFP)
Thangal Bazar, Imphal, Manipur (Photo: Thomas Ngangom_IFP)

 

Several new initiatives and enhancement of previous schemes has been announced by Chief Minister N Biren Singh in his second stint. However, one of the most commendable announcement is of freeing the city streets of idle roadside parking and the follow up action. It certainly takes political will to implement the same, as indeed the bazar lobby is powerful.

In the previous term also, Chief Minister N Biren Singh had urged the residents, shop owners, shopkeepers to refrain from parking their vehicles on the roadside. It was his idea of decongesting the traffic in the core market area, and the periphery roads. While no permanent parking will be allowed in these areas, the residents of Thangal and Paona Keithel will be provided parking spaces for their vehicles in the parking lots allotted over the slab-covered Naga River.

Well, disallowing permanent parking in the main bazar is a good step. But, as far as we remember, the original idea of covering the Naga River with concrete slabs was aimed at preventing people from dumping waste in the river while also providing public parking to shoppers coming to the market which may or may not include vehicles of the Bazar residents.

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We had been flagging the issue of idle parking the bazar area including that of declaring it as commercial zone. We honestly feel that business and commercial activities should be allowed in these two areas of Thangal Bazar and Paona Bazar, and the present residents should move elsewhere probably in an enclave for the business community provided by the state.

If we remember correctly, the State cabinet had earlier decided to move godowns from the core area to the periphery areas. Same could be done in the case of Bazar residents, in line with the concept of a Smart City.

The business lobby would certainly be up in arms both in the cases of pedestrian-only streets and declaring of the core area as a commercial zone. That much is guaranteed. But it has to be dealt with in public interest.

Now, under the Smart City Mission, construction of Mall Road on a small stretch of Thangal Bazar from entry point up to Kasturi building with concrete pavement had been completed. This, indeed is a good initiative.

In most cities across the country and around the world, it has been made mandatory for every commercial establishment to create their own parking spaces. Pedestrian-only streets prioritize people and are typically most appropriate in corridors with commercial activity on both edges of the street. The pedestrian volume is high in these streets and so vehicular traffic should be restricted.

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These streets offer opportunities for diverse activities such as shopping or sitting, dining or performing. When placed, designed, and maintained well, pedestrian-only streets become a destination in itself and result in economic benefits for adjacent businesses. The night plaza introduced by the present government in its early days on the Kangla Pat stretch, in an effort to bring back night life in Imphal city can move over to these streets once construction of the Mall Road is finished.

Again, non-motorized transport could be introduced, including cycling tracks besides the pedestrian-only movement in the core area. Roadside parking has been banned almost everywhere, in an effort to decongest the roads and facilitate free flow of traffic. We are of the opinion that, roadside parking should be banned not only in the commercial zones, but in residential areas also.

In many parts of Imphal, one will find vehicles parked in the main roads and leikai roads. Perhaps, the time has come for the government and municipal authorities to enact a law to prohibit vehicle parking on all roads and to make it mandatory for every vehicle owner to have own parking spaces for their vehicles in their Ingkhols or rent commercial garages.

Some time ago, the Karnataka High Court ruled that illegal parking on footways and public streets will amount to violation of Fundamental Rights under Article 21. The Karnataka High Court has held that it is the duty of the authorities to ensure that the footways and public streets are kept free of obstructions, including illegal parking thereon. It is also their responsibility to ensure that violations of the aforesaid provisions of law are not taken casually and criminal law is promptly set in motion.

--Editorial

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First published:6 Apr 2022, 2:40 am

Tags:

manipurImphalEditorialparkingthangal bazarNaga river

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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