Illegal parking growing in Dhaka due to negligence, indulgence: Experts
DMP plans app-based digital parking service to check it
Publish- June 29, 2019, 08:44 AM
Abdur Rahman Jahangir & M Jahangir Alam - UNB Staff Writers
Update- June 29, 2019, 09:22 AM
Dhaka, Jun 29 (UNB) – Illegal parking has become order of the day in the capital simply for lack of enforcement of traffic rules, intensifying traffic congestions and causing nuisance to pedestrians, according to experts.
They suggested taking coordinated efforts by government authorities concerned, including Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), two city corporations and Rajuk, to deal with the problem making people aware of parking rules.
The urban and transport experts also laid emphasis on increasing the number parking spaces all over the city as they think it is not possible to eliminate the menace without ensuring authorized parking space.
Talking to UNB, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon, transport expert Prof Shamsul Haque, urban experts and Buet professors Mizanur Rahman and Sarwar Jahan observed that there is an apparent indulgence in unauthorised parking as it is not treated as a serious cultural urban problem.
However, DMP additional commissioner (Traffic) Mofiz Uddin Ahmed said lack of parking space, not lack of enforcement of law, is the major reason for the nagging traffic jam in the city. “We’re strongly enforcing law as nearly 15, 0000 cases have been filed on average every month against those flout traffic rules.”
He said they have already designated over 50 spots for on-street parking to ease traffic congestions.
The DMP official said they are thinking about introducing an app-based digital parking service in the capital. “We’re now in discussions with city corporations and other authorities concerned to introduce it.”
Once it goes into operation, he said, private building owners will also be able to get registered with apps to rent out their parking spaces.
DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon said they, at a recent meeting of Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA), formed a committee to get rid of the problem.
He said people’s awareness about parking rules alongside strong enforcement of law can help overcome it. “Our city corporation has two parking lots in Motijheel and New Market, but those usually remain empty as people don’t feel it necessary to go up there.”
Besides, Khokon said, they leased out some roads for legal on-street parking in consultation with the DMP.
Prof Shamsul Haque of Civil Engineering Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) said a vehicle in its total life span remains parked for around 95 percent time while only 5 percent time on movement. “But our policymakers only think of making roads for vehicle movement, but ignore the issue of parking.”
He said lax implementation of law, inadequate parking facilities, poor traffic management, insincerity of the authorities concerned and lack of awareness among people are contributing to illegal on-street parking.
As Rajuk has utterly failed to enforce the building code, the transport expert said, mushrooming multi-storied commercial buildings, shopping malls, schools, colleges and hospitals without necessary parking facilities are aggravating the situation.
Even, Haque said, the city corporations have some markets where there are no parking facilities. “When a regulatory body flouts rules, how will you force people to obey it?”
City corporations, Rajuk and DMP need to put in coordinated efforts to resolve the parking problem, he added.
Buet's Urban and Regional Planning department ex-Professor Sarwar Jahan said the number of parking spaces available in Dhaka is considerably less compared to the number of vehicles commuting in the city every day.
“Parking on streets in the capital remains largely un-managed as people park vehicles like buses, cars, covered vans, rickshaw vans, rickshaws and auto-rickshaws in any location in any direction that they wish for lack of awareness and enforcement of law,” he said.
Director of Buet’s Accident Research Institution (ARI) Prof Mizanur Rahman said all the buildings, especially commercial ones, must have their necessary parking spaces.
Stressing the need for building multistoried parking lots in all the busy areas of the city, he said people should build parking spaces for commercial reasons instead of building only houses for rent out.