As the number of cars and other vehicles on the road increases, the threat of unlawful parking continues to wreak havoc on already crowded cities. The terrible reality is that India's cities were never made to absorb a flood of automobiles. The planners' and city administrations' indifference merely exacerbates the situation. Parking spots do not meet the minimum criteria. But who is to blame for unauthorized parking? What about the government? The severity of the issues created by illegal parking varies, ranging from traffic congestion to income loss to deadly accidents; its influence is so significant that industrialized countries include it in their legislation. Indian cities, where the problem is most prominent, should tame the beast by taking a page from their book.
India is currently dealing with a new issue: a scarcity of parking space. With families becoming smaller and the overall number of motor cars exceeding the total number of people per household, the parking situation in the country is severely inadequate. On any given working day, nearly 40% of the roadways in metropolitan India are used just for automobile parking. The situation is getting worse because even low-income individuals may now buy vehicles. The number of households with automobiles has beyond the capacity of the country.
As it is, India's cities are incredibly crowded, and parked automobiles take up a lot of areas that could otherwise be better utilized. Indian cities are among the worst places to live because of their poor and non-existent navigability. When you add pollution to the mix, it's easy to see how serious the situation is. In this perspective, it's important to remember that Indian cities, with the probable exception of Chandigarh, were never designed to support the massive influx of vehicles that we're seeing now. The indifference of today's urban planners has further exacerbated the problem.
When it comes to assigning responsibility, inefficiencies in enforcement and governance are frequently cited. The lack of civilian regard for "trivial" rules is as shocking as the police's unwillingness to enforce them. When you look at the larger picture, though, you can see that India is still a developing country. Most of the country's biggest cities had existed since the 16th century, long before the vehicle came into existence. The first vehicle did not arrive in India until the twentieth century when the industrial revolution began, and widespread production of automobiles began.
When you add in a lack of awareness of world events and insufficient preparation for a vast population, it's easy to see why obsolete rules exist. A lack of information about available parking spaces is critical in unlawful parking threats. In the lack of critical information, drivers frequently resort to parking in the first available empty area, even if it is not for automobiles.
People must seek solutions that alleviate the current issue and avert future crises as parking places in metropolitan areas become scarce. Though policymakers' approach to illegal parking is greater enforcement, establishing a solution requires a thorough knowledge of the causes and patterns of illegal parking. Similarly, the capacity to evaluate the impact of a particular enforcement method is critical. Restricting access to automobile ownership, for example, is a short-sighted response that will not be particularly helpful. A longer-term perspective on the problem will be required, as will good planning and technology assistance.
Innovative parking technology is excellent for addressing the problem of unauthorized parking. The IoT-enabled solution performs a fantastic job of providing commuters with available parking places, which immediately reduces infractions, thanks to the usage of sensors, software, and flexible payment mechanisms. It also cuts the time spent looking for parking spots and increases the cash earned by parking lots. Specific challenges, such as those with automated multi-level parking lots in Delhi, can be tackled similarly by smart parking apps that highlight and make such places available to users. Illegal parking will continue to grow in metropolitan areas without sophisticated technical alternatives.
People have the impression that the authorities in charge of urban planning in India should take a closer look at the issue. The public policy must be framed so that governments may adequately address the problem. One approach to deal with this is to eliminate the parking subsidy. The cost of parking should be decided by the land value of the area or the rent charged for it. It is also critical that key tourist attractions, heritage zones, and commercial districts be declared car-free.
However, others believe that enforcing parking laws and regulations in India will be difficult, given the widespread belief that all public services should be free. However, if the problem is to be solved, the government must apply such regulations. If you can afford a car, you should be able to afford the parking fees as well. Politicians' strategy of waiving parking fees before elections to gain votes has sometimes put things in a bind. People believe that if individuals are required to pay parking fees, they will become disinterested in having a car due to the expenditures. Cities can be divided into zones, and parking fees can be calculated based on the area's average congestion.
Other options for resolving automobile parking concerns include multi-level parking. There are two forms of multi-level automobile parking: traditional and automated. Open parking facilities are favored over covered parking areas since specialized fire protection systems and mechanical ventilation is not required when parking above ground. Automated multi-level automobile parking is more challenging to implement because it is purely technology-driven and does not require much human interaction. India and Indians may not be ready for this technology right now. The safer approach appears to be the more traditional alternative.
Accountability, like with the majority of other public services in India, must be the guiding principle here. The government can set policies, but it is up to the people to follow them and succeed. Furthermore, authorities must recognize that restricting access to automobile ownership is simply a temporary solution. Proper planning is necessary for a longer-term solution. India's public transportation system needs an upgrade. People will continue to rely on vehicles until public transportation becomes widely available; till then, the problem will continue to persist.