A week after the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) opened 33 paid parking lots in New Gurgaon localities, residents and shopowners of the Sector-31 market on Tuesday staged a protest, demanding free parking in the area.
There are 212 shops at the market and hardly 100 of them are occupied.
“We are protesting as our business has got affected since January 15 when paid parking came into effect here. Now, the customers prefer to visit other markets,” said a shopowner.
The traders said they will keep their shops closed until their demand is met. They said paid parking is not justified in the market as a majority of visitors are from nearby localities and they come to buy only grocery and other household items.
“People are not ready to shell out extra money to go to a local market. The paid parking has caused irreparable loss to us in the last one week,” said MC Yadav, general secretary, shopowners’ welfare association, Sector 31.
The local traders alleged that Huda officials were trying to benefit shops in other markets where parking is still free.
“In Sector 31, there are three markets but paid parking has started here only,” said Yadav.
The residents’ welfare association members have also joined the protest and shouted slogans against Huda administrator Praveen Kumar and estate officer (EO-2) Manoj Khatri .
Fearing more protests, the contractor of the newly-opened parking lot called the police to control the situation.
“We assured the police that we will not attack the parking contractor but we will keep our shops shut. We would be meeting Praveen Kumar on Wednesday to seek his help,” a shopowner said.
“I told Kumar that shopowners have decided to deploy their own security guards to take care of parking just like the Sector 29 market association,” said Man Singh, president of the Sector 31 RWA.
“Security of vehicles and parking facility is Huda’s responsibility and no one should oppose it as Huda has allotted these sites after clearance from the high court,” said Kumar.