The AJ Block residents’ association is taking a step to mitigate a problem that plagues several blocks in Salt Lake — parking of an excessive number of cars in the interior lanes. They have launched a car parking sticker that will be given to resident-members.
“We want to demarcate which cars belong to residents so that we have an idea how many outsiders are parking here,” said president of AJ Block Committee Tapan Kumar Ghosh.
Mayor Krishna Chakraborty was present at the block community hall to launch the sticker. “The number of cars per family is on the rise but the space on the streets is still the same. We have to find a solution to the parking problem. This step will help the police,” she said.
She added that the corporation was bent on enforcing night parking charges as part of its measures to augment the civic body’s income. “We have kept that provision in our budget. I would request the police to tow away cars that are left on the streets overnight without paying the requisite fees,” she said, addressing the representative from the Bidhannagar traffic guard present at the programme.
A senior officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate’s traffic department later pointed out to The Telegraph Salt Lake that pasting the parking sticker on the windshield by itself would not ensure parking rights on the street. “It is just like a sticker issued by a club or any social body. But what it will do is alert us to the possibility that the car might belong to the owner of the house in front of which it is parked. So we might ring his doorbell to alert him and give him a chance to move it himself and not silently tow it away.”
The block committee has its own logic in pushing for this demarcation. “There are so many cars that sometimes they are parked on both sides of the lane. May be smaller cars can still pass through but there is no space left for a fire tender, an ambulance or even a police patrol van to pass. While publicising our plan among residents, we are also distributing a soft copy of an application form for the sticker. In it, we are also seeking some basic information like the name(s) of the car owner(s), how many cars and makes of cars there are in the house and where each car is kept at night,” secretary of AJ Block Committee Pabitra Biswas said.
The block association feels this step by itself will work as a deterrent. “Some residents use the garage as a caretaker’s residence. Some have even let it out. Their own cars are left on the street. When we seek this information, we will persuade them to keep their own car in the garage,” he said.
The canalside blocks also face a problem of some Kestopur residents parking their cars on Salt Lake streets and crossing over using the footbridge. This makes it easier for them to access the Bypass or Sector V or even the rest of Salt Lake as the under-construction bridge between AJ and AK blocks is still not ready. The Bailey bridge at AE Block is motorable but allows one-way traffic from VIP Road to get into Salt Lake. So people driving from Salt Lake to Kestopur have to take a detour via Ultadanga or New Town. “The parking sticker will help the police identify such outside cars,” Biswas said.
About 100 application forms have already been submitted by residents to the committee. “We have 337 plots in the block with 10-12 still left empty. In our estimate, there should be about 300 cars in the block. Once we get enough applications, we will send the sticker for printing.”
There is no provision yet to issue the stickers to tenants who stay in the block. “Only leaseholders are members of our association,” the block secretary clarified.
Pointing out that parking in lanes not designated as no-parking zones is not illegal, another senior traffic police officer suggested that the block committee speak to the local councillor and find a solution to the problem. “If the corporation wants to enforce night parking or fee parking zones and brings it to our knowledge, we will surely see what can be done,” she said.
Can parking stickers issued by a residents’ body solve the problem of too many cars parking in the inside lanes?
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