Sep 21, 2011
Recognizing the critical importance of parking management as part of a holistic effort to promote sustainable transport, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) has initiated the process of developing a parking policy for the city. Rajkot’s problems relating to parking policy and other traffic and transport issues were discussed at a workshop organized by RMC in association with ITDP and the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) on September 9, 2011.
Anuj Malhotra, Director of Programs at ITDP-India and Pratik Dave, Rajkot City Coordinator, presented a detailed overview of the city’s transport system, highlighting the need for better walking and cycling infrastructure and a robust public transport system.
On parking management, Malhotra said, “RMC authorities can discourage the use of private vehicles by pricing on-street parking and managing off-street parking facilities through market mechanisms. This should be coupled with the provision of an efficient city bus system.”
“Paid parking can help RMC raise additional revenue and address the growing parking menace in the city. Survey data shows that RMC could earn Rs 50,000 per hour if the city starts charging a modest hourly parking charge of Rs 2.The revenue earned through parking can be invested in creating better walking and cycling infrastructure and vibrant public spaces in the city,” he added.
At present, on-street parking is free in city of Rajkot.
RMC also requested ITDP to assist in the preparation of a detailed project report for non-motorised transport infrastructure and sought input on RMC’s street vendor policy.
On walking and cycling facilities in the city, Dave said, “More than 35 percent of the population still travels by non-motorized modes in spite of the lack of infrastructure. If infrastructure is not improved, this population will soon shift to motorized modes. Walking and cycling should be promoted in the city.”
The workshop was attended by more than 70 eminent people, including the Rajkot Municipal Commissioner; Ajay Bhadoo, Police Commissioner, Rajkot; Geetha Johri, deputy mayor of Rajkot city; Commissioner, Regional Transport Office, Atul Gor; Airport Director, Rajkot Airport, senior members of ruling political party; senior RMC officials; and representatives of civic organizations. Members of EMBARQ and CDIA participated as well.
RMC has signed a memorandum of understanding with ITDP for technical support on non-motorised transport facilities and advisory support on public transport.