[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
Ever since the earthcutting process began for the construction of the four-lane highway in the Capital, there has been a drastic dearth of parking spaces (which were never really there to begin with).
There are some parking spots in the Capital, which include mostly those inside private shopping centres, the recently inaugurated parking lot in Bank Tinali, and the designated areas near Indira Gandhi Park and Ganga Market in Itanagar, and near Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Naharlagun.
The DTO had in early October, during the formal inauguration of the parking lot in Bank Tinali, assured that parking spaces in other areas would soon come up with the support of the District Administration and the transport federation.
Speaking to this daily, Deputy Commissioner Prince Dhawan had said that these designated parking spots have been created to ease the traffic flow, caused mostly by commercial vehicles on the road.
However, the walls of the parking lot near Indira Gandhi Park have been torn down with the eviction and clearing drive taking place in the Capital, while the one in Bank Tinali looks like a crime scene, with faeces and urine in abundance.
The Bank Tinali parking lot is clearly not being taken care of by the authorities concerned. On inspection, a man was seen relieving himself in broad daylight on the ground floor of the parking area, avoiding the trouble of using the bathrooms on the upper floors.
The bathrooms themselves were in a dilapidated condition, with damaged sinks, and faeces spread all over the floor. The stench was enough to make anyone who stayed there for over a minute want to vomit. Whiskey bottles, beer cans and paan spit were also a sight to behold.
The only considerably clean area was the terrace.
When asked why the Bank Tinali parking lot was ignored, the DC informed that they have very recently received news about its condition and would take appropriate action to look after it. He, however, informed that funds have not been provided for its upkeep, and suggested that its use by vehicle owners would make it less vulnerable to such activities.
“There was a charge of Rs 10 for parking earlier, but that has also been removed and parking is free now, but people still prefer parking on the roads. If only people used the parking lot more often, instead of creating traffic jams with their haphazard parking, such activities could be avoided,” he said.
It is of course the duty of the authorities concerned to keep a check and maintain the infrastructure it has created. However, it also becomes the duty of the Capital’s residents to refrain from such unpleasant activities thereafter.
While we may scramble for space as the four-lane highway takes shape, people rest their hopes on the district administration to have a solution ready at hand, and it is to be hoped that the highway does not turn into unauthorized parking spots in the future through our own ignorance.