Rampant violation of the building bye
laws by most of the commercial complexes and shopping malls in the city is a cause of concern for residents who continually struggle to come to terms with the ever growing traffic menace.
Despite the mandatory provision in the Meghalaya Building Bye Laws, 2010 where commercial complexes should have a proper space for parking of vehicles, almost none of the commercial houses comply with this provision of the law.
The problem is not restricted to the commercial complexes constructed years back but even the recently constructed ones do not reserve space for parking.
A walk down the lane from Khyndai Lad to Bijou Cinema shows that none of the commercial complexes in the area have parking facilities.
The problem is not restricted to the main commercial hub of the city (Khyndai Lad). Even in places like Laitumkhrah and Laban majority of the commercial complexes do not have space for parking.
The lack of parking facilities in these commercial houses has added to the traffic congestion in the city especially in the prime commercial centres.
Vehicles owners complain that lack of parking space leaves them with no option other than parking their cars on the roadside.
When contacted, Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh said that the government can do little about the buildings built prior to the amendment of the Meghalaya Building Bye Laws since in the past the provisions were not stringent enough to force commercial complexes to have a mandatory parking space.
“The best government can do (for the buildings constructed earlier) is to closely coordinate with the land owners from time to time on the need to have a proper parking space,” Ampareen said.
She said that the government is also trying to find land for construction of a parking lot in major commercial centres to ease the burden.
“We would be more than happy if people come forward to offer such land to the government,” she added. The Urban Affairs Minister stated that after the amendment of the building bye laws, the government is very stringent with the various provisions of the law.
“We will not issue the occupancy certificates if the buildings which do not meet the mandate laid down under the building bye laws. Having a proper parking space is among the prime criteria for any commercial complex,” she said.
Ampareen also pointed out that the government should ensure that the same mistake is not repeated in the New Shillong Township. (By Lamphrang Nongspung)