Mussoorie: A recent announcement by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat about constructing two new car parking facilities in town and introducing battery-operated golf carts on the Mall Road has drawn a mixed response from residents.
The CM had announced last week that two parking facilities would be constructed in town, one near Zero Point and another near J.P Bend. Mussoorie has been facing an acute parking crisis for several years now, causing traffic bottlenecks and hardships for tourists and local residents.
Aalok Mehrotra, a senior citizen, rooted for the idea mooted by CM Rawat. “These parking facilities can be very useful to decongest the two ends of the Mall road. Tourist buses and taxis that are parked on the roadside near Gandhi Chowk and Masonic Lodge could be accommodated here,” Mehrotra said.
However, another local resident, PS Patwal, didn’t see much merit in the plan. “The new parkings that have been proposed are to be located nearly 2 to 3 km from the Mall Road and they may not suit the tourists at all. Parking spots are required to be near the Mall Road,” Patwal said.
Notably, the Public Works Department (PWD) had started the construction of a parking facility with a capacity of 212 vehicles near Kincraig back in 2016.
The project, with an investment of Rs 30 crore, was supposed to be completed by 2018. Local residents had recently opposed this project over the placement of some columns, saying it would reduce the width of the road.
The Mussoorie Municipal Council (MMC) has also started the construction of a parking near Picture Palace, while at least two others are in the pipeline. “It would be better to speed up the work on existing parkings first before planning new ones,” Patwal said.
On the other hand, the prospect of free golf carts on the Mall Road has upset the labour unions. Rickshaw operators claimed that it would affect their business. “The CM has announced that free golf-carts rides would be offered on the Mall Road. This will put the existing rickshaw operators out of business,” said Bhagwan Singh Chauhan, a labour union leader.
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