AHMEDABAD: Gandhinagar, one of the two planned cities of the state, has so far been applauded for its excellent town planning. However, the state capital’s proposed parking policy suggests that there was a major flaw in the original plan — not being able to account for vehicle ownerships and parking space.
The latest parking policy for the capital points out that the city was planned keeping government employees in mind.
They were allotted plots at subsidized rates or were sold plots of 50, 71, 81, 90, 135, 200, 250, or 330 square metres. The capital’s town planners thought of wide roads, balancing concrete with greenery, laying down well-defined commercial and residential areas, and a well-connected road network.
However, the planners Prakash Apte and H K Mewada, who had apprenticed with the world renowned Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier in planning Chandigarh city, left the parking issue unaddressed, the policy document says.
The policy says that “perusing through various available building plan approval layouts of various plot-size categories, it can be observed that parking requirements for plots with area of 135sqm and below do not appear to be taken into account while issuing development permissions.”
According to the study conducted for the proposed policy, about 80% of the capital city’s residential area is covered by 135 sq m plots and most of the houses built on them do not have in-house parking, forcing residents to park their vehicles on narrow streets in these residential clusters.
“The basic principle for plot allocation to citizens in this ‘administrative’ city was economic-grouping, which in turn was based on government salary-based post (position) equivalents,” the policy says. Experts also highlight the issue of common plots in Gandhinagar. The common plots were multi-purpose in nature, mainly to be used by residents for family events, plantations, and regular recreational activities apart from providing parking space.
“Many common plots in the capital city are encroached upon by temporary sheds, plantations, religious structures, fencing and other sorts of encroachment,” states the report. The report suggests a remedy: “Since common plots were never meant as an exclusive or even implicit public-parking function, there is a need to resolve the serious parking deficit through gradually phasing out parking in common plots in the long run.”
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