Mapusa: Victim of poor planning, haphazard development

Mapusa has been the victim of poor planning and haphazard development. As a result, traffic congestion and acute parking space are the main hardships that motorists confront in this prominent town

Visit Mapusa on any given weekday and be prepared to waste precious time, effort and fuel to find parking space in the heart of the city.
Despite being a prominent town in the State, Mapusa has been the victim of poor planning and haphazard development. As a result, traffic congestion and acute shortage of parking space are some of the main hardships that confront motorists in Mapusa.
A rapid growth in vehicles has also added to the chaos, with the Mapusa RTO registering about 1,400 vehicles every month.
Mapusa Municipal Council (MMC) Chairperson Sudhir Kandolkar admitted that the council is seized with the problem of parking and traffic congestion in the town.
“We have decided to acquire 5,000 square metres of comunidade land in Morod-Mapusa for parking facilities and land acquisition process has already begun,” informed Kandolkar.
“At a meeting in August, MMC decided to ban the entry of inter-state buses in the city via the Sessions Court and taxi stand, to ease traffic congestion. Buses have been directed to enter the KTC bus stand via Green Park Hotel,” said Kandolkar.
Kandolkar informed that MMC has also decided to reduce the width of the footpath from Union Pharmacy to Asilo Hospital building, which would provide additional parking space.
“Since there is always a traffic jam near the court circle during peak hours, it has been decided to widen the road and shift kiosks elsewhere,” added the MMC chairperson.
Social worker, Philip D’Souza opined that MMC should have provided a parking facility at the basement of the new fish market under construction, similar to one in Panjim municipal market.
“A basement parking would have resolved most of the parking woes. What is required is proper vision by MMC,” added D’Souza.
He further informed that stilt parking should be made compulsory for residential complexes and basements in commercial complexes in Mapusa town.
“Some buildings in the town initially had stilts earlier for parking of vehicles. However, the area was later converted into shops and commercial establishments for reasons best known to the MMC.
Mapusa Traffic Cell Traffic Inspector Salim Sheikh, however, felt that the Traffic Police needed proper cooperation and support from MMC.
“At most places in Mapusa, traffic signboards were either missing or worn out. At some other places, there were improper traffic signboards due to which motorists were unable to follow traffic rules and regulations, thereby leading to chaos on the roads,” said Sheikh.
Acting on a request from the Traffic Cell, the MMC sought the assistance of two companies, Sharuyu Toyota and Car-X Auto Accessories, to sponsor the traffic signboards.
As many as 20 new signboards were recently installed in Mapusa and the Traffic Police has now decided to provide road markings at various places in Mapusa for the benefit of motorists and pedestrians. [H]