Illegal parking lots are mushrooming in the city, thanks to space crunch and inadequate authorised parking facility. Commuters claim they are forced to use the unauthorised service due to nexus between the parking mafia and police.
Residents complain that the mafia promptly informs the police about vehicles parked on the roadside outside malls and other places. So, they have no option but to park in the illegal lots or their vehicles get towed away.
According to records, Gurgaon has just seven authorised parking lots. Five of these are operated by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) in sectors 16, 14, 29, 32 and 44 while two are run by the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) in Sikanderpur.
Many parking lots, like the ones in Sector 29, MG Road, Galleria Market, Qutab Plaza and Arjun Marg, are illegal with no checks on the rates they charges by any government agency.
Though the average rate is R10-20, commuters end up paying R30-50 for four hours in DLF Cyber City.
Commuters also allege that the attendants working in these parking lots often misbehave with them.
People also resent charging of parking fee in government offices such as the Mini Secretariat where thousands of people visit on a daily basis for various works.
“While I was charged R15 for parking on the main side facing NH-8 at the Mini Secretariat, a contractor asked me to pay R20 for parking behind the building,” said Akhilesh Sharma, a resident. “All this is happening right under the nose of the district magistrate,” he added.
Many parking mafias have occupied vacant plots in private townships like DLF City, Palam Vihar and Sushant Lok.
Police commissioner KK Sindhu said the department will crackdown on illegal parking. “There is indeed a shortage of parking space near the malls and markets of the city. A multi-level parking is the need of the hour and the district administration is working towards it.”
Local police officers, however, have their own version.
“There are cases of plot owners allowing private players to use their vacant property as parking lots. We cannot question them. It's up to Huda or MCG to regulate the fee being charged here,” said an officer.
“If any property owner comes to us with a complaint that someone is illegally using his plot for parking, we will help them. But we have not received any such complaint,” he added.
“Parking in Galleria Market is a difficult task. Though it's easy to park your vehicle, the attendant disappears when we need to get out of the area. They take money in advance and are not bothered later,” said Jasraj Singh, a resident.
Worst-affected areas are Qutab Plaza, Galleria Market, Vyapar Kendra, Sector 14 and shopping malls.