LAHORE: About 80 percent of service roads in the provincial capital are being illegally used for parking by traders, shop keepers and general public due to the negligence of the departments concerned.
All this is happening under the nose of City District Government Lahore (CDGL), Lahore Development Authority (LDA), town municipal administrations (TMAs) and Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Agency (TEPA) but no action is being taken against the illegal practice.
Cars of traders and customers can be seen parked in front of the shops located on the service roads along all main roads including The Mall and Ferozpur Road, causing a lot of problems for smooth flow of traffic.
A CDGL official confided to The Post that service roads were being illegally used for parking because of poor monitoring by the departments concerned.
“The service road had been constructed alongside key routes to ease the traffic load in the city but this is only facilitating shops owners,” he added.
On The Mall from Anarkali Chowk to Regal Chowk and onwards upto Punjab Assembly (Faisal Chowk), both sides service roads are in use of shopkeepers and their customers. Whoever came there park his vehicle on the service road without any hesitation. Some illegal parking stands are also in place along The Mall’s service roads in view of rush of customers and Rs 15 to Rs 20 are being charged at these stands even for brief-time parking.
On Ferozpur Road from Muslim Town Morr to Ichrra and onwards upto Shama Chowk, the service roads are occupied by rickshaws, motorcycles and cars of the customers as a large number of shops located alongside the roads.
Though service roads at Mozang Chungi on Ferozpur Road are yet to be built, the existing road shoulders can be seen packed with cars outside of the shops located there.
Sources told The Post that the traffic police did not challan cars and motorcycles which were parked wrongly in front of shops and it was thought to be a fashion to stop/park the car right in front of shops for shopping.
“Vehicle lifting wing of traffic police also ignores the illegally parked vehicles if their owners are busy shopping in nearby shops due to influence of traders and shopkeepers,” they said.
The root cause of the problem is that big shopping centers and offices are located alongside The Mall, Ferozepur Road, Main Boulevard Gulberg, Wahdat Road, Jail Road, Ravi Road and Multan Road and but there is no parking plazas or free space for parking there. District Coordination Officer (DCO) Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta told The Post that use of service roads for parking was illegal and it would not be allowed at any cost. He said there was shortage of parking place in the city. He added that the government was planning to construct parking plazas in the city to deal with the problem.
Source: The post, 12th January, 2009