The demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes has hit collections at parking lots.
Contractors say their collection has decreased by at least 30 % as people have stopped parking vehicles inside the parking slots. Those who still used the facility were leaving without paying money.
“We are dealing with at least 4-5 defaulters every day. They argue and refuse to make the payment despite using the facility. They say they have no change. After a point of time we give up and let them go after taking their contact details,” said Babloo, an attendant at the New Delhi Municipal Council parking lot in F Block, Connaught Place.
He showed a parking slip on which he had written the contact number and parking charge (₹80) due on a customer.
To avoid the confrontation, he has requested his employer to provide debit/credit card swiping machines.
The situation is worse in east Delhi as contractors are forced to arrange for change money before opening the parking slots every day.
“People are giving ₹2,000 notes to pay ₹20 parking fee, while others try to be smarter and offer banned currency notes of ₹500 and ₹1,000 to us. For our convenience, we ask in advance if they have change money to make payment. If not, we then simply ask them to leave,” said Narendra Verma, an attendant at east Corporation’s car parking lot outside DDA’s office, Laxmi Nagar.
However, there are some soft-hearted parking attendants too, who are allowing free parking to those coming to withdraw money from ATMs early in the morning.
“There is banking and ATM facility in the Laxmi Nagar District Centre. To collect cash people are standing in queues from 4am. We understand their problem and that’s why don’t force them to pay any money,” said Babloo Kumar, a parking attendant at District Centre in east Delhi.
Outside the parking complex, cars were found parked in two or even three lanes which showed the reluctance of visitors to use the lot.
“Visitors are even leaving their vehicles at the entrance of parking lot which is leading to inconvenience,” said Kumar.
To resolve the issue, parking contractors have met senior municipal officials and requested them to discontinue with the parking charges till the situation gets normal. As of now, they have to submit the licensing fee every month.
“Due to losses, we are not in a position to submit licensing fees. That’s why we have advised the officials to implement the decision,” said Prem Tiwari, a contractor who was running 23 parking lots in three municipal corporations.
Officials from civic agencies had mixed opinions on the issue. “We have given freedom to the contractors to allow parking on credit basis and issue cards to regular visitors,” said a senior official from licensing department of East Delhi Municipal Corporation.