Even as the Municipal Corporation and the firm handling the parking contract have doubled the parking charges on an hourly basis, they seem to be ill-prepared to provide the smart parking system in the city. Angry motorists said the charges had been hiked despite the fact that the facilities were the same.
Automatic boom barriers were not seen operating anywhere except the Sector 17 multi-level parking and the room allotted in the MC building for the central server of CCTVs was found locked. The mobile parking app has no payment facility and does not show space in a particular parking.
Moreover, no parking passes have been made available yet due to which commuters remained hassled today.
Sharing his ordeal, NK Jhingan, who works in the Labour Department, Sector 17, said, “We requested them to give us the monthly pass as the daily rates are too high for office-goers. They said they could only give a day’s slip for Rs 25 as the passes hadn’t arrived yet.”
“Secondly, it took about 15 to 20 minutes at the payment counter outside the Anand Complex parking in Sector 17 due to a long queue. We got late for office. The facilities are the same, why have they hiked the charges,” he questioned.
Sandeep Bhora, project coordinator, said, “The passes will be ready by Monday. The payment facility will be added on the app. We are trying to install automatic boom barriers at other locations as well. The rates have been increased as we are providing better parking facilities. After the firm took over, it started e-ticketing through machines, CCTV cameras were installed at most lots and a central server was set up.”
Hike too much Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla said, “The rates are too much. The BJP is only raising taxes and not providing facilities. We had made it clear in the last MC meeting that the charges can’t be increased until the parking lots are made 100 per cent smart.”
Senior Deputy Mayor Rajesh Gupta said, “Earlier, there used to be brawls and haphazard parking at the lots. Now, we are providing smart parking.”
Yesterday, the charges were raised to Rs 5 and Rs 10 for two-wheelers and four-wheelers, respectively, and these were to be charged on an hourly basis. From April, these will be further doubled.
Arguments on Day 1
There were heated arguments at some parking lots between the staff and motorists. Staff members at the parking in front of the Registering and Licensing Authority office in Sector 17 said some people even threatened them for charging the increased amount. “A car driver even told us that he would get this parking lot closed,” said a woman attendant. “They have suddenly doubled the rates. Those who have to visit two or three places in a day will have to spend about Rs 50 daily,” said a car driver, Ashok Kumar. The firm claimed that due to the increase in rates, about 15,000 vehicles were parked outside parking lots.