Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Parking a Big Mess for Gurgaon Metro

Though residents of Gurgaon and people who work there have welcomed the Metro with mixed feelings they are unhappy that services will be available till only Qutub Minar station the Millennium City administration is heaving a sigh of relief.

Reason: They say it would have been a nightmare handling traffic movement and providing parking space to so many vehicles at Metro stations had the entire line opened at one go.

It’s a different matter that the authorities concerned knew for the past four years that the Metro will be coming to Gurgaon but had not made arrangements for people to reach the stations.

According to them, the parking provided at the stations is not adequate and the fact that there are no feeder buses means that even those who want to leave their cars behind would be forced to use them in order to reach any of the five metro stations in Gurgaon.

The recently-imposed ban on rickshaws that prohibits them from plying on MG Road has only added to the commuters’ woes. The parking lots at two stations (Sikanderpur and MG Road) will not be functional at the moment. ‘The parking lots at the stations are not adequate expect in the last station (Huda city center). Since there are no feeder buses, we are trying to make some temporary arrangements. We will run a few buses on Monday and increase their frequency after gauging the demand,” said Rajinder Kataria,
deputy commissioner, Gurgaon.

There is, however, some discrepancy regarding the parking facility at Huda City Centre station. While the DC claims that both the parkings (surface level as well as the basement) will be for commuters, DMRC insists that the basement parking is only for shop owners and visitors to the mall that is coming up inside the station.

Gurgaon municipal commissioner Rajesh Khullar too expressed his apprehension over the parking situation. ‘‘The situation is particularly bad at Sikanderpur. We plan to convert the existing road into a parking lot as a temporary arrangement. The intra-city buses which could have solved the commuting problem will take another 4-5 months,” he said.

“Thankfully, the Metro will be operational only till Qutub Minar, which means most people who use it will do so for a joy ride. Had it got connected to the existing Metro network in Delhi, it would have been impossible to handle traffic and parking. We are, however, worried about the shortage of parking space at the stations. Something has to be done,” said SS Deswal, police commissioner.