Post Mortem

New car but no place to park

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 6/5/2019 1:08:22 PM IST

 Every single day more and more cars and bikes are added to Nagaland roads. It is seen that most of these vehicles are parked on the side of the roads. This has led to ever increasing traffic jams in places like Kohima and Dimapur where most roads have become one way traffic. Getting stuck in long traffic jams have become regular now making urban commute a very unpleasant and time-wasting affair. There is thus a need to find ways and means to decrease this wastage of productive hours in long traffic jams. 

Therefore it is desirable that the govenment make a rule or issue an advisory for all new buildings to have parking space on the ground floor of their building or in their compound. Even without a municipal rule or formal guideline, the public must build responsibly and make parking space in their new buildings. Also it will be good if the landlords who sell plots keep spacious place for roads. This idea of having big personal compound but having very small roads is decreasing ease of travelling in many colonies. Contrast this to developed cities like London or Paris where they have big roads but small or no personal compound.

Making a parking lot must apply especially to those plots which are attached to the main roads. There are many buildings on the side of busy roads like churches, office, schools, banks, commercial buildings etc. But they have no parking space in their building complex. As such, hundreds of cars are just parked on the side of the small roads. This is a planning blunder. A big public building that looks beautiful but has no parking space is just stupid and adds to the congestion and traffic jams. 

In hilly areas like Kohima, it is desirable that homeowners keep their ground floor as parking space not just for themselves but for their neighbours as well who have no place to park their cars. They can get parking rent out of it and can be win-win for all. Proper parking space is also important because the climate is changing and extreme weather events that can damage cars like big hail storms and landslides are becoming more frequent. Proper parking lot can also protect our cars from thieves. 

The recent fire in a coaching institute in Surat in which students jumped from the building to save their lives should make us ponder over many things. One of them is, how can emergency services like police, ambulance or fire brigades reach the spot on time in congested places when the roads are packed with cars? Kohima is a water scarce place which has houses almost joined together. An open road could atleast give room for fire brigade trucks to reach before its too late.

There are some public buildings like churches and schools who have big compounds but they don’t allow cars to enter their compounds even after classes nor do they allow it to be used as places for evening daily markets. As such, vegetable vendors occupy the small roads which lead to more congestion on the roads. It will be good if the big compounds of schools, colleges and churches etc can be used for parking or holding daily markets etc. These institutions can then collect rent in return. Increasing population of humans and cars dictates that we use these big un-used compounds innovatively on a daily basis and not just on festive seasons.

It is also felt that the government must make ring roads around congested city centres to ease the traffic from the centre. In the absence of alternate roads, the people are forced to flock the places near the main town roads. If new pucca roads or ring roads are made, it will encourage businesses and people to spread horizontally towards the new roads.

The municipal bodies in Dimapur and Kohima have incomplete multi-storey parking lots lying incomplete and neglected for years now. It is desirable that these are completed at the earliest on priority basis. It is disheartening to see that such projects are taking so long for completion.

In the latest “Ease of Living Index” prepared by the Centre, Kohima got a rank of 110 out of 111 cities. Only one city was worst than Kohima. Getting stuck in traffic jams for long hours is definitely one of the reasons for the very low ranking of Kohima is the Ease of Living Index.

Since Nagaland and the entire Northeast is an earthquake and landslide prone area, we must think twice before erecting very tall buildings. Our rescue and fire departments currently do not have the needed machines to rescue people trapped in high rise buildings due to fires or earthquakes. Therefore we need open spaces and roads for the emergency services to move around to help us in times of need. Otherwise, like in Surat fire, we will only watch disaster happen and be unable to do anything to help the victims. 

Proper town planning and public cooperation can achieve a lot and make our State a better place to live in. The schools, colleges and private individuals can play a big part to ease congestions in the cities. Last but not the least, it is hoped that all new buildings, especially public buildings will be mandated by law to have essential features like parking lots and disabled friendly structures etc. which are totally missing at the moment.

Lelen Singsit, 

Kuda Village, Dimapur

 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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