Ponda: Ponda City is commercially a growing town. But due to lack of planning for the past decade, this town faces shortage of space for parking which causes traffic congestion problems.
More than two decades ago the town’s Bus Stand was shifted to the outskirts of Ponda town and three bypass roads were constructed to divert and prevent the heavy vehicles proceeding from the town road. But even after this due to rise in population as well increasing number of vehicles the Ponda town is falling short to accommodate and provide parking place leading to parking problems, forcing to park the vehicles on side of main road leading to traffic congestion on the main road.
A decade ago the town roads were widened after clearing the roadside shops and encroachment for the smooth flow of traffic, but after clearing the shops these roads are illegally occupied for parking by four-wheelers and bikes which are parked in congested and haphazard manner leaving no space of pedestrians to walk safely on road and footpaths.
Thus at present compared to few parking places provided by Ponda Municipal Council (PMC), most of town roads are used to park vehicles. At some places the vehicles are double parked and at some place vehicles are parked on both sides of roads causing traffic congestion.
So in order to streamline traffic, there is need of adding more parking places in the town.
There are around four Industrial estates at Kundaim, Marcaim, Bethora and Usgao. The employees working in these estates park their bikes by the side of road early morning and go for their work through buses and return only in the evening to collect their vehicles. Till they come this roadside parking remains occupied for more than eight hours without giving chance to other people coming in town to park their vehicles. Further over the past few years the PMC has failed to develop parking place, nor proposed a Multilevel Parking Project.
Due to road side parking the traffic moves at a snail pace and to add to problem often passengers, bus drivers halt vehicles at several unauthorised stops to collect passengers which adds to slow down in traffic.
After shifting Ponda Bus Stand to the KTC Bus Stand the old bus stand in Ponda is converted into only a bus stop. Locals feel that the vast area can be utilised for parking instead of being used by fast food vendors.
High rise buildings are seen in the town without adequate parking facilities and basements are converted into shops. This has led to great inconvenience to people coming with vehicles in the town. Since vehicles are parked wrongly the traffic police come and clamp the tyres and visitors have to go to the police and get them released after paying a fine.
PMC Chairperson Pradeep Naik said that he is aware of parking and traffic congestion problem. “We will take appropriate decision by taking stake holders into confidence. PMC has no option but to introduce pay parking system to avoid day long parking by some vehicle owners at the prime locations in the town. However, decision in this regard will be taken in Council meeting,” said Pradeep.
Ponda MLA Ravi Naik said he had recently suggested in a PMC council meeting to shift the existing garden to vast space acquired in a field located by the side of PMC building. He said the existing garden in front of PMC can be converted into parking area by constructing a building for parking of all types of vehicles. He suggested providing space for parking in Outline Development Plan (ODP) of PMC. [H]