January 5, 2015
Pune: Among the benchmarks for smart cities, besides an efficient public transport, water supply, electricity, and wi-fi connectivity, there is also a need for civic bodies to formulate building and parking standards.
A draft note for ‘smart cities scheme’ of the union urban development ministry dwells on the pillars of institutional infrastructure including governance, physical, social and economic amenities, and how the centre of attention for each of them should be the citizen.
The note observes that the first pillar of institutional infrastructure including governance itself, the current structures do not focus on citizen participation. “People do not get the feel of ownership of city. There is a need for involving citizens in decision-making processes. Procedures are cumbersome and citizens often find it difficult to secure public services they seek,” it says.
Citing an example, the ministry says that when it comes to handling the basic traffic and transportation system, issues of parking arrangements, traffic lights, street lights, and fleet of buses are handled by various departments. It makes the situation more complex for the citizens.
While the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporations as well as the mayors and elected representatives have demanded the inclusion of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad into smart cities’ plan, NGOs have often complained to the civic bodies that citizens are not taken into confidence and have no participation in civic issues including the transportation system where more flyovers and subways are being built instead of improving the public transport system.
Like other cities, Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad can learn from the draft note, say experts. The note says that many policies governing urban areas are old and need to be reviewed in view of changing needs of the city. It says that provisions like parking space requirements, building bylaws are archaic and do not meet the demand for the present-day requirements.
“Rapid urbanization of cities has resulted in unplanned development and urban sprawl. Cities are marred by congested central business districts and are deteriorating at the core. While planning smart cities, emphasis needs to be given on planned development and decongestion of CBDs,” the ministry says.
The trend of urbanization that is seen in the country over the last few decades will continue for some more time, says the ministry. While the urban population is currently around 31% of the total population, it contributes over 60% of the country’s GDP.
It is projected that urban areas will contribute nearly 75% of the national GDP in the next 15 years. Reforms in how cities are governed are necessary as high quality governance, with a strong citizen say in decision making, is critical for smart cities, the note adds.
Source: Times of India
September 23, 2014
As part of the ‘smart city’ plan of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the automated parking complete with boom barriers and variable signs is ready and functioning at the F Block of Connaught Place.
By the end of the month, the entire area would have automated parking facility. After cracking whip on the parking mafia, the municipal body had handed over the 99 parking lots within its jurisdiction to the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Limited (DIMTS) for consultancy and for deciding on the technical inputs.
The aim was to put in place a structured system and ensure that all revenues are captured at the back end. The private contractors mafia continued to park cars even when the parking area used to be full. It led to congestion in many areas.
With the new system in place, once the parking area is full the automated computerised board will show the next available spot, indicating the driver to take the car to the next stop. In this case, it will be the next block in CP.
“If the space is full then no car will be allowed to enter that particular parking lot,” an NDMC official said. NDMC hopes to have a proper system ensuring high-tech safety for the cars. “The bollard system has been set up that will be updating the space available for parking and bring in order to the current chaos,” the official added.
“True that people will have to walk a little more than usual. But once the system is in place that habit will be induced among them,” he said.
“Our next endeavour will be to have an online system for reserving parking lots to ease congestion in any area. It will allow people to book parking slots by visiting the NDMC website,” said an NDMC official.
“Numerical analysis and billboard system will bring order in Connaught Place, Janpath, Sarojini Market, Khan Market, Shankar Market over a period of time,” said NDMC chairman Jalaj Srivastava.
September 22, 2014
India, the second most populated country in the world, houses more than 40 million vehicles. It is the only country which saw a growing car sales even during the recession and recorded the highest sales volume during 2009 and 2010. India has a strong domestic market and this growth is expected to sustain and increase over the next few years, given that India’s car per capita ratio is currently among the lowest in the world’s top 10 auto markets.
However, infrastructure available for vehicles – such as roads and parking spaces – has been an increasing challenge in most Indian cities.
Indian cities face a severe problem of congestion due to the growth of personal vehicles. Traffic management in many cities is marked by the introduction of one-way traffic systems, which have implications on pedestrian safety and fuel consumption.
One-way traffic is generally desirable only when complementary roads are available and the additional traveling distance is not more than 300 meters as per IRC. This ensures that whenever such systems are introduced, the interests of the public transport modes and pedestrians are duly addressed.
Demand for parking in the CBD areas of Indian cities is twice the supply. Acute shortage of parking supply is seen in commercial areas. Indiscriminate parking impedes the free flow of traffic and causes accidents.
Multi-level car parking
A multi-level car parking system is meant to maximize car parking capacity by utilizing vertical rather than horizontal space. However, with land in the metros and ‘A’ grade cities becoming scarcer and dearer and plots getting smaller, conventional parking is proving infeasible. It is often found that ramps or car lifts consume so much parking area that no increase in parking capacity is possible. In such cases, mechanized car parking systems make creation of extra parking capacity feasible.
The Equivalent Car Space (ECS) that can be accommodated at a parking site would vary with the technology used. Types of multi-level parking currently available are:
Conventional multilevel parking system can be underground, above ground or both under and above ground. The open parking structure is preferable to enclosed structures for above ground parking, as it does not require mechanical ventilation and specialized fire protection systems.
As against cars being driven on ramps or carried in car lifts to different levels in conventional multi-level parking, cars are driven at only one level for parking or retrieval. Cars are parked in steel pallets – a target pallet rides up or down to the driveway level at the press of a button for parking or retrieval. Technologies used for automated parking systems are of the following types:
- Puzzle Type or Modular
- Elevated Type or Tower
- Multi-Level Floor Parking
- Multi-Level Circulation Automated Parking System
- Rotary type
- TD (Stacker) System
Automatic multi-storey car parks involve lower building cost per parking slot, as they typically require less building volume and ground area than a conventional facility with the same capacity. However, the cost of the mechanical equipment that is needed within the building to transport cars internally needs to be added to the lower building cost to determine the total costs. Other costs are usually lower too. For example, there is no need for an energy-intensive ventilating system, since cars are not driven inside and human cashiers or security personnel may not be needed.
Automated car parks rely on technology similar to that used for mechanical handling and document retrieval. The driver leaves the car in an entrance module. It is then transported to a parking slot by a robot trolley. For the driver, the process of parking is reduced to leaving the car inside an entrance module.
At peak periods, a wait may be involved before entering or leaving because loading passengers and luggage occurs at the entrance and exit location rather than at the parked stall. This loading blocks the entrance or exit from being available to others. Whether the retrieval of vehicles is faster in an automatic car park or a self-park car park depends on the layout and number of exits.
Various multi-level car parking initiatives in India
New Delhi Municipal Council: A modern integrated multi-level car parking complex was recently opened in the busy Sarojini Nagar area to decongest this popular marketplace. This project is to be developed by DLF for New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). The parking would accommodate 824 vehicles at an investment of INR 80 crore on a Built-Operate-Transfer basis. Similar car parking facilities are being planned at Baba Kharag Singh Marg and Kasturba Gandhi Marg.
Municipal Corporation of Delhi: A fully automated multi-level car parking complex is planned at Mandalia Chowk in Kamla Nagar. The parking complex is planned to accommodate 828 cars and 300 two-wheelers and will be constructed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi at a cost of INR 110 crore within a period of two years. The MCD has identified 24 sites that will be developed into parking sites at Lajpat Nagar, Rani Bagh, Greater Kailash-I, Defence Colony, Karol Bagh, South Extension, Mori Gate, Greater Kailash-II, Qutub Road and Rajouri Garden.
Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has already invited tenders for nine plots to build multi-level parking lots in the Capital. These plots will be developed on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis similar to the model followed by the agency for its Nehru Place multi-level parking lot. The parking lots, which will have between three to seven levels depending on size and location, will be built at community centres or district centres in Dwarka, Janakpuri, Hari Nagar, Wazirpur, Okhla, Motia Khan, Mayur Place and Yamuna Vihar.
Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation has planned to set up a multi-level car parking system at Vashi, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra at two locations – Sector 17 and near the Civic Hospital – with a project cost of INR 10 crore. The car parking system will have two 11-storey tower car parks for accommodating 22 cars each and a three-level puzzle park for 43 cars.
At Vashi Civic Hospital, there will be three 11-storey towers accommodating 22 cars each and a 7-storey puzzle car park for 110 cars. The total parking capacity will be 263 cars. In the tower system, a lift ferries cars to a height and parks them. In the puzzle system, which is wider than taller, cars are fitted into various vacant slots. Seven more mechanized car parks have been planned – five of the multi-level lots will follow the tower system and two the puzzle system.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation: Kolkata-based Simplex Projects Ltd has received offers to set up an automated multi-level car park here. Simplex Projects has to its credit the country’s first multi-level car parking system Parkomat at New Market in Kolkata. The design and technology for car parking systems are acquired from Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland and Korea and are usually assigned projects on a built-own-operate-transfer basis.
Bangalore Mahanagar Palika is planning to construct five new multi-level car-parking complexes over the current year, 2014 at an estimated cost of INR 20 crore. Around 15 such new car-parking complexes will be built at an estimated cost of INR 60 crore. Car parking complexes have been planned in various parts of the city such as MG Road, Commercial Street, Shivaji Nagar, KG Road, Gandhi Nagar, KR Market, Mysore Road, Jayanagar Shopping Complex, Malleswaram and Seshadripuram. The BMP has already taken steps to construct three multi-level car-parking complexes on JC Road, Kempegowda Road and Magarath Road.
Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is planning a multi-level car parking complex in private partnership, close to the NTR Garden on the Buddha Purnima Road. An extent of 2.5 acre of area has been earmarked for the complex that would accommodate about 1,000 cars, besides 500 two wheelers.
Kolkata Municipal Corporation has been tying up with private companies to venture into automated MLCP in the city where there is immense space and parking crunch.
International case studies prove that providing innovative solutions to parking problems and introducing mass transit systems do a lot more than just solve traffic problems. Such solutions also result in increased real estate values in a city, since consumers are willing to pay more for the convenience.
One method of addressing the escalating shortage of parking spaces in shopping areas would be to restrict parking at few locations and imposing heavy parking fees. This would go a long way in creating space availability, making the pathways outside malls more pedestrian friendly and generally enhancing the livability of the city’s urban environment.
Automated multi-level car parking facilities at important locations are also a viable way of addressing parking requirements. They can contribute significantly in reducing traffic congestion. These should ideally be developed near public transit points, within walking distance of key destinations. International property consultancy JLL is now actively advising many city authorities and developers on such solutions. MLCPs are now being implemented on a Design, Build, Operate and Transfer model via Public Private Partnerships.
In order to make such projects financially viable, the Strategic Consulting division at JLL India suggests that certain portions of the development be laid open for commercial exploitation. Incentives such as additional FSI and a revision in existing parking fees needs to be offered to private developers in order to increase their interest levels in participating in MLCP projects. There is definitely scope for making these developments, which should now qualify as vital infrastructure, more popular.
The concerned authorities need to impose strict penalties on owners of commercial buildings who do not provide adequate parking facilities. At the same time, more FSI could be offered to developers for new developments in certain locations if they contribute free parking spaces.
Meanwhile, the recent introduction of automated parking meters in four of Chennai’s key locations has the potential for introducing a new dimension of parking discipline.
However, there is still a general lack of awareness about these parking meters and the purpose they serve. Along with awareness and compliance enforcement, the number of such meters also needs to be increased in various commercial areas of major cities.
Above all, policy reforms and their implementation are the most effective tools in providing efficient parking solutions and management. In the long run, citizens will need to revise their perceptions about the use of private vehicles and exhibit an increasing preference for public transportation.
A Shankar, head – Strategic consulting (Chennai | Coimbatore | Colombo) JLL India
The views expressed here are the author’s own.
September 11, 2014
Some cars are already able to drive themselves in certain circumstances. The Mercedes CLS coup? brakes by itself when the driver fails to react to the risk of an accident. Some BMW models also warn drivers they are about to go over the white line and they can go onto automatic pilot in traffic jams.
“Lots of the technology is already out there,” said Guillaume Devauchelle, director of R&D at Valeo. “But now we are at a turning point.” Rapid progress in radar and detection camera technology now allows cars to “see” things going on around them. Onboard computers analyse road conditions and make the car react accordingly.
Which means that car makers believe that they will have models on the market capable of driving by themselves by 2020, and utterly autonomous robot cars by 2030.
This could radically cut mortality, said Franck Cazenave, marketing director at the parts maker Bosch, since “90 percent of accidents are caused by human error”.
Who to blame for an accident?
There are other benefits too. As soon as cars begin to talk to one another, and with the computers running the road system, traffic will run more smoothly with huge savings on fuel.
According to Sebastien Amichi, an expert at consultants Roland Berger, after 2030 there could be “fleets of vehicles available 24/7 that will come to pick you up where ever you want, and do so with amazing efficiency”.
These really smart cars will also make travel that much more comfortable, their supporters claim. “Drivers won’t have to drive so they will have that time for themselves,” says Cazenave. They will be able to read, surf the net, or even have a nap — which is why not only car markers have been attracted by the possibilities this offers.
Google has been testing fully automatic Japanese cars for the last five years and is even making its own electric driverless cars that make us of its Internet and mapping expertise.
Even so, others in the industry such as Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan, argue that car-marking is an art not everyone could pull off.
And, of course, there is the prohibitive cost of the technology. The radar system alone on a Google car is said to cost 60,000 euros ($82,000), without counting existing auto-pilot technology that costs thousands of euros.
“What is still holding us up is the quality of the sensors and of artificial intelligence,” Ford has admitted. And though everyone thinks that the next decade will see automatic robot cars driving on their own on motorways and in car parks, having them in the middle of urban traffic with pedestrians and cyclists, is another question. The big issue is who is to blame if there is an accident.
Before tackling this thorny question, governments will have to change road safety laws which demand that every driver “must be in control of their vehicle”.
As for the drivers themselves, some will undoubtedly be happy to hand over the wheel. Others though will be reluctant to put their lives in the hands of a computer — not to mention foreswearing for ever the pleasure of putting their foot to the floor.
August 27, 2014
There are indications that the booming IT hub of Siruseri will soon get a multi-level car parking facility that should accommodate at least 2,000 cars and 50 buses at a given time.
Siruseri, situated 24.5 kms from Madhya Kailash on Rajiv Gandhi Salai (Old Mahabalipuram Road), has seen a huge influx of motor vehicles, especially with the establishment of the IT park there in 1998 by SIPCOT.
The Tamil Nadu Road Development Company (TNRDC) recently appointed a consultant to prepare a feasibility study for a multi-level parking lot near the IT park.
K. Purushothaman of National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) welcomed the proposal and said that it will be of great use to employees at the Siruseri IT park.
“At present, around 60,000 people work in the IT and ITES sectors and that number is expected to go up to 1.2 lakh in two years. It would also be great if a parking lot is earmarked for buses. At present, the buses are parked on the roads and no facilities are available for the drivers,” he said.
Sources in TNRDC said that the Salem-based consultant will take six months to complete the work that includes preparation of a detailed feasibility report that will also study how much parking fees can be collected and how much space can be set apart for commercial development so as to make the project commercially viable.
Along with the parking lot, TNRDC has planned additional facilities including an amphitheatre, a food court and children’s play area on the five-acre piece of land.
August 2, 2014
Keeping a multi-level car parking-cum-commercial complex proposal at Hampankatta alive, the MCC has decided to take it away from the MUDA and go on its own or through a public private partnership (PPP).
Keeping a multi-level car parking-cum-commercial complex proposal at Hampankatta alive, the Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) has decided to take it away from the Mangalore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) and go on its own or through a public private partnership (PPP).
The council of the corporation on Thursday gave its approval to withdraw the proposal given to the MUDA.
Now the corporation is focusing on the project for which the State government is expected to sanction 50 per cent of the project cost.
Mayor Mahabala Marla said that it was more than five years now since the proposal was given to MUDA.
Of the 215.50 cents of land available in the old service bus stand at Hampankatta, the civic body owns 155 cents and the remaining 60.50 cents – where there are five buildings – belong to three private parties.
Mr. Marla told The Hindu that the matter had been taken up with the Minister for Urban Development Vinay Kumar Sorake, who has promised support of the State government. The corporation is yet to decide whether to take up the project on its own or through a PPP model.
The Mayor said that now the corporation would ask a consultancy to prepare a blueprint of the proposed project. The matter would be discussed in the development committee of the civic body and a decision would be taken on how to proceed with the project.
Mr. Sorake told The Hindu over phone that the government could sanction 50 per cent of the project cost through the Directorate of Urban Transport Authority (DUTA) under the Urban Development Department. The government planned to reduce the density of vehicles in city corporations in the State. Hence DUTA had been constituted with an objective to coordinate planning and implementation of urban transport projects and programmes, he said.
He said his department would verify the Hampankatta project once the MCC sent a proposal and project report to the government.
The Mayor said the corporation was also examining if it was possible to introduce a single parking fee payment facility in the central business district area in the city. With this, a driver should be able to park his or her vehicle at three for four notified places on roadside by paying a parking fee at any one place. Then drivers and owners need not pay parking fee every time they parked vehicles within a radius of two or three kilometres.
July 31, 2014
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
`Lawyers With Offices Nearby Can Use Cycles’
If the severe parking problem inside Supreme Court complex is not sorted out soon, then lawyers having offices nearby , including senior advocate Harish Salve, may have to explore the option of cycling down to the court after parking their cars in their offices.An initiative to solve the parking problem inside the court premises was started with a PIL 14 years ago as the increasing number of cars had started to choke the complex’s limited parking space on big litigation days Mondays and Fridays.
More than 12 years ago, then solicitor general Harish Salve and then additional solicitor general Mukul Rohatgi had on July 10, 2002 told the court that they would hold consultations with all stakeholders and the SC’s administrative side to chalk out a long-term plan to solve the problem. On Wednesday, solicitor general Ranjit Kumar said the parking problem would be solved once the new court complex came up on the land allotted to the SC.
A bench of Chief Justice R M Lodha and Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman said the project “as on date has been delayed by a year because of paucity in funds”.
“It may take 10 years to complete. All depends on the money provided by the government. This is a very serious problem,” the bench said and requested Kumar to do everything possible to solve it. The SG said the ACP (traffic) has expressed inability to do anything to solve the
parking problem inside the court complex. “The Central Public Works Department is the executor of the project.
If it gives the break-up of funds needed for speedy completion of the project (on Appu Ghar land), we can approach the ministry concerned for funds.” The CJI asked whether it would be possible for advocates with offices nearby to use cycles to come to court.
The SG said given the heavy flow of traffic around the court, it would be impossible for lawyers to cycle to court.
Justice Lodha said, “We cannot become traffic inspectors. You (SG) must come out with something concrete. We get the impression from the bar associations that the government is avoiding this issue.” The SG said he had a meeting with the parties concerned and was hopeful that in six weeks, a solution to the problem could be found.
July 30, 2014
In Dive-Anjur village, a 1.5-km-long road (with 22m width and 7m height) has been laid on the wetland off the busy Thane-Bhiwandi Road, cutting off the flow of tidal water to 300 hectares of wetlands. “It is noticeable from the highway and shows the audacity of the perpetrators of this environmental outrage. Real estate developers have already put up signboards announcing their intention to take up building projects,” states the report. In Mumbra “the scale of destruction is outrageous,” the report says, pointing out that reclamation of nearly 20 hectares of wetlands by multiple agencies is currently underway.
Vasudevan’s team visited eight sites at Dahisar Link Road, Bhuigaon village in Vasai taluka, Owala village in Bhayander, Ghodbunder Road, Dive-Anjur village, Diva village and Diva Sabegaon village, Vikhroli-Mulund Road and Targhar village in Uran.
At Dahisar Link Road, close to the slum Ganpat Patil Nagar that is settled on a CRZ area, the wetland abutting the road has been reclaimed and converted into a parking lot for private tourist vehicles. When the court-appointed team visited the site, illegal sand mining was in full swing. Scores of trucks were lined up to transport the loot away and the water from the wetland was being drained using diesel pumps.
At Targhar village in Uran, the team discovered reclamation of the privately-owned wetland being carried out despite the HC ban. The owners told the team that they wanted to develop garages, container godowns and parking lots on the site.
At Diva village, a 4-hectare site was first ravaged by sand mining. Then to fill the pit the Thane municipal corporation converted it into a dumping ground. And now the soil is being filled and the land levelled for other purposes, said the report. Similarly, at Diva-Sabegaon village, the wetland has been become the site of waste-dumping and construction of slums and chawls. Near Owala village, a 6-storey residential building has come up on the wetland. A housing finance company is offering loans for 1BHK flats, which are being sold for Rs 35 lakh, and 2BHK flats, which cost Rs 50 lakh.
Vasudevan points out in the report that wetlands are of tremendous ecological significance. They are rich repositories of bio-diversity and storehouses of water.
July 28, 2014
Finding parking space in Delhi is like a treasure hunt. The growing number of cars has led to a scramble for vacant slots and frayed nerves. Rajinder Bhatia’s death in west Patel Nagar underlines a larger issue and a crime pattern that needs a closer look. According to a study by the Centre for Science and Environment, parking takes up nearly 10% of the city’s space, just 1% less than the green cover. Delhi has 82 lakh registered vehicles and the addition of cars, many of them superfluous, will only compound parking problems in future.With the lanes in residential areas always packed, fights have become routine.
Ambulances, police vehicles and fire tenders often get stuck. “The area needed for parking vehicles is now double of what is taken up by slums in Delhi. The social inequity , shrinking of common areas and unhealthy environment will only get worse,“ said Anumita Roy choudhary , executive director, CSE.
To tackle this problem, some RWAs have restricted entry of cars, others have proposed parking lots beneath the parks. Many are using colony parks and vacant plots to squeeze in their cars. “Anyone can buy any number of cars without showing parking space. There is no policy,“ said Manjeet Singh of South Extension part-I RWA.
Another reason for the mess is the commercialization of residential roads.
Banks, nursing homes, gym and departmental stores are essential but daily fights over parking outside houses are also taking their toll. Deflating tyres, towing and damaging cars has become common.
Since 2005 civic agencies have been collecting conversion charges from these areas.
“Not a single parking lot has come up. Where has the money gone?“ said Rajiv Kakria of GK-I RWA. Of the 41 parking lots planned by the corporations since 2007, only three have been completed.
Unauthorized colonies as well as congested areas like Karol Bagh and Walled City are worse off. “We need a policy or more people will be killed over parking rows,“ said B S Vohra of East Delhi RWAs Joint Front. Experts had suggested charges for street parking but political pressure put them in cold storage. “Public transport needs to improve to reduce reliance on cars,“ said Ashok Bhasin of North Delhi Residents Welfare Forum.
July 28, 2014
Parking is a big problem in west Patel Nagar.
The roads here are always choked by haphazardly parked cars, and people lose their cool quite easily because of that. It’s even worse at block 28, say residents, where Rajender Bhatia lived.People living in Baljeet Nagar, an unauthorized colony nearby, park their vehicles in the spaces allotted to the block. “We have protested against this a lot of times with the police and the civic bodies but they tell us there is no way out,“ said Ahuja.But N K Ahuja, a neigh bour of the Bhatias, says the problem is also due to the fact that “every house has at least three cars that occupy spaces allotted to other residents“.
“There are days when we have to park our cars outside the colony because of that. I have filed several PILs to this end but all came to nought,“ Ahuja added.
Subhash Gulati, who has been living in the area for over 25 years, says, “The colony was originally designed to have one car per family . But with time, every house in this area became an apartment.
Now, there are at least seven cars for each house,“ he said.
Gulati also complained that the colony once had an RWA, but it was disbanded a few years ago. “I had requested all the residents to park their vehicles responsibly but to no avail,“ Gulati added.
Vikas Chaddha, an immediate neighbour of the victim, said Bhatia himself owned two cars, one of which he parked right outside the gate and the other on somebody else’s slot. “No one speaks about the parking issue since the spaces allotted for all the plots are being controlled by the property dealers in the area who run a racket,“ Chaddha added.