LAHORE: The City District Government Lahore (CDGL) and Gulberg Town administration are set to install the ‘metered parking system’ at Main Market Gulberg and at various other important sites of the city.
The system aims to solve the issues of lack of parking space and over-charging by parking officials. The Punjab government has purchased machinery for the new computerised parking system, but has not yet announced a plan to adjust the system in an already congested Gulberg Town. CDGL teams were conducting surveys across The Mall and Gulberg Town to acquire an accurate estimate of the parking space required.
Congestion: The residents and shopkeepers at Main Market Gulberg believe the parking system, which was previously set up at Liberty Market, cannot be successful at Main Market. They say the market faces a serious space shortage, and using the service lane around the market for parking purposes would still be insufficient. The residents also expressed concerns regarding the government’s alleged consideration of turning the ground behind the market into a multi-storey parking plaza. They said it would deprive the residents of greenery and increase pollution, which is already on the high in Gulberg Town due to congestion and traffic jams.
Muhammad Mushtaq, a bookseller of the market, said the shopkeepers and residents were unhappy with the government’s plan to install a metered parking system at the market. He said the market was already faced with congestion and lack of space, adding that setting up a parking lot would only worsen the congestion.
“We do not want people to park their cars outside our shops. It would create traffic jams and pollution. We accept that parking is one of the major issues at the market, and we are in favour of solving the problem, but not at the cost of increasing congestion and pollution,” he asserted. Incomparable:
Asim Hussain, a cigarette shop owner at the market, said the market was very different in nature if compared with Liberty Market, and hence called for a different solution. He said customers spent hours at Liberty Market, which could also be considered a shopping mall. He said Main Market was not a shopping mall and most customers only stopped for a few minutes. It would be a bad idea to charge the people for such a short span of time, and people would refuse to park their cars and pay the charges just for a few minutes, he said.
District Coordination Officer Sajjad Bhutta said the government had enough machines to install the metered parking system at the market, but it was currently resolving the issue of lack of space to set up the parking lot. It was difficult to set up effective parking lots in congested markets, and the Punjab government does not want to adopt a short-term solution to the problem, he elaborated.[Daily Times News]