CHENNAI: After more than a decade of delay, the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) is finally set to issue orders on setting up multi-storeyed parking lots at three locations in the city.
The announcement of elections though has temporarily postponed the launch of the projects. Places identified According to official sources, the Government agency has identified places for setting up the parking lots near Broadway bus stand, Panagal Park and Government Estate. The mechanised parking lots are aimed at decongesting high traffic zones. The on street parking at Chennai Corporation-designated parking lots has resulted in severe clogging of several commercial zones in the city.
Growing vehicle ownership
A study on "Parking requirements of Chennai Metropolitan Area" carried out by Wilbur Smith Associates in 2003 had pointed at the high growth of vehicle ownership in the city - from 4 vehicles per 100 persons in 1981 to 14 per 100 persons in 1991 to 30 per 100 persons in 2001.
The peak hour parking demand in the city was calculated at around 13,000-passenger car equivalent (PCE; which is roughly equal to space needed for parking 5,000 cars and 15,000 two wheelers). Authorised parking space maintained by Chennai Corporation was only 5,100 PCE spread across 161 stretches.
In the commercial zones of T. Nagar and Parrys Corner, parking demand far exceeded the on street capacity. This also led to an average loss in road capacity of over 40 per cent. The study suggested a comprehensive review of the parking policy to address the problem. Private construction firm Mecon India took up a detailed study of the proposals for multi storey parking lots in six locations in Chennai.
Three projects at Broadway, Panagal Park and Government Estate off Anna Salai are to be taken up initially.
A 3.5-acre land near Broadway bus stand will be developed as a four-storeyed parking lot. The automated facility will be used for parking over 300 two wheelers and over 350 cars, besides the buses.
The facility at Panagal Park will come up on half an acre plot within the park premises. It will be used for parking close to 300 two-wheelers, 350 cars and around 20 commercial vehicles. At the Omandurar Government Estate off Anna Salai, parking facility will be created for over 400 cars.
Others places where similar parking facilities are being considered include the 4-acre-MUC (Madras United Club) grounds in Broadway, and the 0.4-acre MTC depot on Pattullous Road. Officials are preparing detailed project reports for the proposals.
Experts have maintained that multi-storeyed parking lots are no miracle cure and it would be better to adopt different strategies in different places.
The Western countries, especially in Europe, have found success in reducing congestion by declaring them fully pedestrian zones.
Vehicles are parked outside the market.