The problem of traffic jams between Liaquat Bagh and Raja Bazaar still persists despite construction of a parking plaza at the Fawara Chowk some six months back.
The Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) had constructed the parking plaza to overcome traffic suspensions between Liaquat Bagh and Raja Bazaar and from Raja Bazaar to Jinnah Road. After its construction, a contractor is running the parking plaza having capacity of 350 vehicles.
After the construction of the plaza, the RDA had banned the parking of vehicles at roadsides between Gawalmandi Chowk and Raja Bazaar. People were asked to park their vehicles in the parking plaza whenever they visit shops or offices situated at Raja Bazaar, Jinnah Road and Liaquat Bagh.
The vehicles of traders could still be seen parked at roadsides between Gawalmandi Chowk and Fawara Chowk, The drivers and owners of Suzuki pick-ups are also defying the orders of the RDA.
The staff on duty in the parking plaza demands Rs300 from every trader and shopkeeper for parking their vehicles on a daily basis. For every vehicle, an amount of Rs50 is being charged for one-hour parking. After the end of one hour, vehicle owners are asked to pay extra amount. The traders are of the opinion that the parking fee should be reduced and the condition of hour system should be abolished.
RDA Deputy Director (Media) Umar Farooq, when contacted by ‘The News,’ said that people were parking vehicles at roadsides because of limited space in the plaza.
He admitted that it creates traffic jams. The construction of another two-storey parking plaza would help resolve the issue. About high parking fee, he said that traders should negotiate with the concerned contractor to resolve the issue.