Residents and shopkeepers of Sector 31 refused to budge on Day 8 of their protest against paid parking introduced six months ago in the sector market on Tuesday.
Demonstrators claimed they will not go back on their demand till the parking charges are not withdrawn by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda).
Shopkeepers claimed the authority was setting "a wrong precedent" for the rest of the city by implementing the system in sectors 31, 40 and 56, on lines of markets in neighbouring Delhi.
"It took us over five months to figure out the regulations under which paid parking was introduced in our sector. I read the Huda Act and other related rules but paid parking is not mentioned anywhere. It makes no sense for owners to pay for parking their vehicles in front of shops they have bought," said MC Yadav, president, market welfare association, Sector 31.
He added that the market has many shop-cum-flats and owners also park their vehicles here. "The sector market is too small for being treated as a commercial parking lot as there is hardly any space left after shopkeepers park their vehicles," Yadav said.
Colonel (retd) Raghbir Singh, president, market welfare association, Sector 56, said, "In response to an RTI query regarding the regulations under which the paid parking was set up in sector markets, Huda did not answer in full detail. The response claimed that it was done in accordance with the Huda Act but did not state the relevant sections. However, I have read the entire Act and paid parking is not mentioned anywhere."
Singh added that he had also visited the Huda head office in Panchkula and met the chief administrator on the matter. "The officer appointed a policy incharge to discuss the issue with us. We were told by the Huda head office that there is no such policy wherein Huda can implement paid parking anywhere in Haryana. The head office has no intimation of any such system in Gurgaon," Singh said.
The paid parking system has also led to congestion on roads adjoining the market, especially during rush hours. According to residents, many people park their vehicles outside their houses to avoid paying the parking fee.
Narendra Yadav, estate officer 2, Huda, said, "We will decide a way out after taking up the matter with residents as well as the parking contractors on Wednesday."
Meanwhile, Colonel (retd) Mann Sigh, RWA president, Sector 31, said he will seek the help of authorities in removing the paid parking system within the next three days.