The UT of Chandigarh administration is exploring plans to allow taller residential buildings to create space for stilt parking – which is not permitted as of now. The development comes in the wake of the deadlock over the administration’s draft parking policy which recommends building stilts as a solution to resolve the parking mess. It also proposes relaxation in norms to allow for more space for vehicles in residential and commercial units.
While neighbouring states like Haryana can build stilt parking – a partially covered space on the ground floor, usually in apartment blocks – with an additional floor to resolve the parking problem, this system is not allowed in Chandigarh.
It should be noted that the draft policy of the UT allows stilt parking but within the height permitted, that is, stilt parking at ground floor will be allowed within the permissible ground coverage, FAR (floor area ratio) and height of the building. FAR is the ratio of a building’s gross floor area to the total area of the land upon which it is constructed.
However, some town planners are of the view that the proposed policy makes little sense given the current height restrictions because people won’t sacrifice their residential space for more parking space.
Interestingly, the planning department had earlier expressed reservations over allowing stilt parking or relaxations in height, with some officials saying there’s no such provision in the master plan and that it could go against the architectural vision of the city.
As the city is developing, vehicle ownership rates have also increased in Chandigarh. This has increased traffic congestion and also gave rise to the parking problems. Chandigarh has the highest per capita car ownership in the country: Four per household according to the draft policy. For a population of around 11.35 lakh, there are more than 12 lakh motor vehicles registered in the city. Between 2010 and 2019, around four lakh new vehicles were added in the city.
Thus, parking is becoming a serious issue in Chandigarh and needs a proper policy change to tackle the same.