Pune Corporation – The Art of Converting Public Parking Spaces Into Private Property

As per construction rules in cities, all buildings need a certain parking capacity to be approved by the corporation. Although even these standards seem inadequate to handle the traffic mess in Pune, builders have found a way to make it appear as if they are conforming to the law without doing anything of that sort. They just convert the parking potential of the public road into a private parking facility.

I will explain using the example of a building near Kamala Nehru Park. It’s a big building that has only minimal parking inside its campus. Instead they have ingeniously converted public parking into private one. The building isn’t a new one, but this parking space pattern is now seen in almost every new commercial building.

Public Private Parking Buildings In Pune
Legend for the image is –

  1. Cream – The Concrete Building Structure
  2. Blue – The building parking lots
  3. Green – The Road
  4. Red – The area of the road that gets blocked due to the building’s parking. The red public space is converted to the blue private space.

As shown in the image, the builders would say that they have parking for about six cars in the building premises. But note that the access to all these slots is directly from the road. The building has no fence or compound. All the parking slots can just about accommodate one car.

The problem with this is that if you were to park some vehicles in the red area of the road, you would be well within the law, but effectively the building parking capacity would come to zero. So for the building’s parking to work, it is imperative for them to keep the red zone free of vehicles on all days, irrespective of what the law says.

Resultantly, the building watchmen spend all day driving people away from parking in the red zone. The red public parking area effectively has got converted into the blue private parking area.

Put a footpath into the equation and things get even murkier as then the builder paves the footpath using his own tiles and then even that footpath becomes private property. Example – Yes Bank building on Bhandarkar Road.

It’s the same case for almost every new commercial building that is coming up. I recently had an argument with the security staff at the new commercial complex located right at the start of the income tax lane, on Prabhat Road. I checked P1-P2 and accordingly when I hinted at parking in the space in front of the building, the security staff rushed to me and said “Idhar nahi laganey. Saheb ki gadi andar kaisey jaigi“. My appeals to reason were futile and I finally took the “discretion is the better part of valour” approach and moved on. I had parked legally on a public road and yet I was driven away.

Despite the traffic mess in Pune, buildings keep being approved by the PMC when they have minuscule if any ‘real parking. I have no idea if the reason for this is ignorance of the officials or if they are intentionally turning a blind eye. These days, it always seems like the builder’s way is the only way in Pune.

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  • sonali

    please suggest the solutions after explaining the problem

  • sonali

    please suggest the solutions after explaining the problem

  • The solution is simple. The PMC should not approve any new buildings that do not have any “real parking” space but are just converting public parking into their own private one.

  • suriya kumar

    Corporation should strictly enforce building norms.
    completion certificate should not be issued unless required parking space is provided
    Sale & occupancy should be deferred till completion certificate is issued
    Often builders get away from all sort of violations and the end user bears the brunt of legal action
    Corporation should instead target the builders
    Errant builders should be taken to task
    If a particular project/builder has violated any of the norms, in addition to taking legal action on this project, corporation should suspend all other building permissions to the same builder till such time he solves the current problem
    Refuse permissions for basement shops
    Should not allow shops on ground floor open to the road
    Builder often takes the buyer for a ride on floor efficiency. Corporation should compile the total sq.ft. sold from the sale deeds and compare it with the building permission granted. In case he exceeds the permissible built up area, the excess area so constructed should be demolished at the ground level and this space should be declared as additional parking for the project
    Such measures should curb the problem. But is there a will?

  • suriya kumar

    Corporation should strictly enforce building norms.
    completion certificate should not be issued unless required parking space is provided
    Sale & occupancy should be deferred till completion certificate is issued
    Often builders get away from all sort of violations and the end user bears the brunt of legal action
    Corporation should instead target the builders
    Errant builders should be taken to task
    If a particular project/builder has violated any of the norms, in addition to taking legal action on this project, corporation should suspend all other building permissions to the same builder till such time he solves the current problem
    Refuse permissions for basement shops
    Should not allow shops on ground floor open to the road
    Builder often takes the buyer for a ride on floor efficiency. Corporation should compile the total sq.ft. sold from the sale deeds and compare it with the building permission granted. In case he exceeds the permissible built up area, the excess area so constructed should be demolished at the ground level and this space should be declared as additional parking for the project
    Such measures should curb the problem. But is there a will?

  • Mustafa Balsara

    Can anyone comment on any existing Corporation laws for buildings. What should be the effective Public Parking area allotted for residents/visitors as per the built-up area of the building?

  • Mustafa Balsara

    Can anyone comment on any existing Corporation laws for buildings. What should be the effective Public Parking area allotted for residents/visitors as per the built-up area of the building?

  • Vinay Agarwal

    This is a good description of petty corruption resulting into mass inconvenience. If government can build footpaths, keep them clear of encroachments and clearly mark the ground with parking/no parking lanes, private parties cannot even think of grabbing public land. It is their absence and ease with which laws can be overlooked, that unsrupulous people continue to win. In USA, all city roads have footpaths with corners marked red for no parking areas and green/ yellow for short time parking. No P1/P2!

    Also, why target builders only? That makes matter sound too complex. Even petty businessmen continiue to put little walkover platforms in public parking places (Laxmi Road, MG Road) which reduces parking space despite laws existing against that.

    Fact remains that by ensuring that public space remains unstructured as it is, individuals within government departments responsible for urban governance, continue to rake in huge moollah by approving illegal structures, collecting ‘hapta’ froml encroachers and ‘fine’ from helpless citizens desparately looking for parking space. Departments themselves, by the way, grow poorer!

  • Vinay Agarwal

    This is a good description of petty corruption resulting into mass inconvenience. If government can build footpaths, keep them clear of encroachments and clearly mark the ground with parking/no parking lanes, private parties cannot even think of grabbing public land. It is their absence and ease with which laws can be overlooked, that unsrupulous people continue to win. In USA, all city roads have footpaths with corners marked red for no parking areas and green/ yellow for short time parking. No P1/P2!

    Also, why target builders only? That makes matter sound too complex. Even petty businessmen continiue to put little walkover platforms in public parking places (Laxmi Road, MG Road) which reduces parking space despite laws existing against that.

    Fact remains that by ensuring that public space remains unstructured as it is, individuals within government departments responsible for urban governance, continue to rake in huge moollah by approving illegal structures, collecting ‘hapta’ froml encroachers and ‘fine’ from helpless citizens desparately looking for parking space. Departments themselves, by the way, grow poorer!

  • The solution is simple. The PMC should not approve any new buildings that do not have any “real parking” space but are just converting public parking into their own private one.