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Are Delhi’s multi-level parking lots serving their purpose? A ground report

Hindustan Times visited five multi-level parking facilities in Delhi and found that they are not being used in many areas as residents prefer to park their vehicles on the roads, leaving the multi-crore structures empty.

delhi Updated: Dec 18, 2017 15:34 IST
Vibha Sharma
Vibha Sharma
Hindustan Times
Delhi parking,Multi-level parking,Sarojini
Hindustan Times visited multi-level parking lots across the city to find out problems of mismanagement and poor use. (HT FILE)

After waiting in queue for 25 minutes last week outside the multi-level parking lot in Sarojini Nagar, Arvind Gupta gave up the idea of shopping and left the place.

Gupta was one of the few hundred people rushing to park inside the complex after the recent National Green Tribunal (NGT) order that bans parking of vehicles on the road in front of the Sarojini Nagar market area and a fine of Rs 5,000 for violators.

HT visited parking spaces across the city. Here’s the spot report.

Sarojini Nagar

Last Thursday, when HT visited the spot, it took 37 minutes to enter the multi-level parking lot. There was at least a half a km long queue outside the complex.

Also there was no employee from the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), which manages the lot, present for managing the chaos. Shopkeepers at the market told HT that the traffic and chaos on weekends was worse. Ashok Randhawa, president, Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Trader Association said, “It takes 40-45 minutes to park vehicles. If this situation continues, people will stop coming to our market.” 

Despite signboards by the traffic police warning people not to park on the road under NGT’s recent order, there were many who had chosen to park instead of waiting in the queue. Many shopkeepers said that they were earlier promised monthly car-parking passes by NDMC but they are still waiting for them. Randhawa said it is not practical for shopkeepers to pay Rs 12 per hour as they have to park the whole day. “Most shopkeepers are forced to park on the road because they cannot pay the fee,” he said.

VK Gautam, director, enforcement, NDMC, said that a circular was issued a few days ago inviting shopkeepers to issue passes at Rs 2,000 for a month but no one responded. Gautam said parking in multi-level spaces is a time consuming process, especially on weekends. “The automatic lifts take 8-10 minutes for parking each car. As far as deploying staff for managing crowd is concerned, we monitored the lot for 15 days after the NGT order and a report will be submitted to them next week,” he said.

Parking space: 824 cars
Project cost: Rs 80 crore
Year of completion: 2011

Hauz Khas

The multi-level facility at Hauz Khas is the among the eight spaces conceived ahead of the Commonwealth Games by the then Municipal Corporation of Delhi but could be made operational only in 2015. The space has a capacity to accommodate at least 300 vehicles but it receives not more than 90 cars a day, according to a parking supervisor.

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) even hiked the rates for the surface parking lot nearby to force people to switch to the multi-level facility, but failed to succeed. “This parking lot is an example of poor planning. There is a surface parking lot running parallel to the multi-level car parking lot, so why would anybody take the hassle of taking the vehicle inside the complex,” said Arun Kumar, a regular visitor to the place.

“Moreover, it is a small market with shops selling day-to-day items. People come here to buy groceries and refuse to pay a parking fee. Hence, they park illegally on the roadside,” added Kumar.

Prem Shankar Jha, deputy commissioner, RP Cell, SDMC said that there were rounds of meeting called with shopkeepers on this issue but no conclusion was drawn. “We have now decoded to invite private concessionaire to run the parking.”

Parking space: 300 cars
Project cost: Rs 40 crore
Year of completion: December 2015

New Friends Colony

While the multi-level car parking project was conceived eight years ago to making parking space for over 600 cars, the space is barely used by anyone. In June 2016, the incomplete lot was opened.

“Even today, there is no electricity connection and security here. Out of the three floors, only one is open for users (free of cost) while there is repair work going on in the basement because it often gets flooded due to seepage,” said a colony resident.

“I failed to understand the purpose of wasting crores of rupees on the project when the civic agency has been unable to make it operational so far. It is wearing a barren look and only villagers are parking vehicles at their own risk,” said Rohit Kumar, also a resident.

Parking space: 604 cars
Project cost: Rs 40 crore
Year of completion: Not completed

Model Town II

When HT visited the multi-level parking lot, there were hardly 10 cars parked in the space that can accommodate 300 cars. The problem — there is a roadside parking area next to the multi-level parking space. The north Delhi municipal authority had proposed to close the roadside parking to encourage people from using the multi-level space. However, it could not be implemented for ‘administrative reasons’.

Civic agency officials said most visitors coming to the market park their vehicle on the road. “Most visitors do not want to use the multi-level lot because they have to drive inside. There is no electricity or arrangement for a lift,” said a resident.

Parking space: 300 cars
Project cost: Rs 28 crore
Year of completion: 2013

Munirka

In comparison to other multi-level parking lots, the situation is better here.The site has been transferred to the Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transport System (DIMMTS), which is arranging the security and maintenance of this place. When HT visited the spot, there were at least 200 cars parked in the space across the 3 floors.

“For safety of visitors, we have deployed guards’ at all three floors. However the lift has not started yet which is causing little inconvenience to visitors,” said an attendant at the lot.

Parking space: 300 cars
Project cost: Rs 28 crore
Year of completion: January 2016

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 15:19 IST