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See a problem in north Delhi parking lots? Don’t bank on MCD’s mobile app to solve it

HT visited four parking lots to see if complaints were addressed. The results were disappointing.

delhi Updated: Jun 09, 2017 15:31 IST
Vibha Sharma
Vibha Sharma
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
North Delhi,Municipal corporation,Parking lot
HT visited four parking lots at Asaf Ali Road, Parade Ground (near Red Fort), outside Tirath Ram Hospital and Model Town-II main market and came across many violations.(HT FILE)

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s ‘parking complaint app’, launched on May 29 to deal with the parking violations by contractors, has failed to make an impact.

The Android-based application is aimed at helping Delhiites report violations at authorised parking lots falling under the the North MCD’s jurisdiction.

A complaint can be filed by logging into the app, typing one’s name, selecting the type of violation, name of the contractor, clicking a photo or making a video as proof and submitting it. The North MCD had promised quick action against defaulters, including penalising the defaulter within seven days of the complaint when it launched the app on May 29.

A day after the launch, HT visited four parking lots at Asaf Ali Road, Parade Ground (near Red Fort), outside Tirath Ram Hospital and Model Town-II main market and came across many violations. To verify the efficacy of the app, the complaints about all parking lots were filed along with photos on the same day.

It was found that the Asaf Ali Road parking lot that has space for 1,400 cars was poorly maintained. Old and damaged vehicles were found dumped in corners. On being questioned, the attendant said, “There are 320 unclaimed vehicles parked here since years. Despite filing complaints with the local police and civic body (along with a list of vehicles), nothing has changed.”

At the Parade Ground parking, the attendants were not in their uniform. Worse, they were overcharging the visitors. Instead of taking the legal parking fee of Rs20 for an hour, the attendant charged Rs30. Arjun Kumar, a visitor, said, “I visited the place twice in the last 15 days and on both occasions they charged Rs30. I argued with them, showed the slip over which rates were mentioned but they didn’t let me go until I paid the money.”

The parking lot outside the Tirath Ram Shah Hospital on Rajpur Road had attendants using paper slips instead of the hand-held devices, while at the Model Town-II car parking lot no ‘parking boards’ were displayed mentioning the rates.

HT tracked the status of the complaints made on the app on a daily basis. However, no updates were provided except for the Model Town parking. In this case, the column for complaint status mentioned that ‘a penalty of Rs3,000 was imposed on the contractor’ on day four — June 2.

At the rest of the spots, the situation hadn’t changed till Thursday.

On being questioned, Renu Jagdev, additional commissioner, North MCD said, “We received the complaints about parking violation on the app and penalised all the four contractors. However, due to some default in the app, no changes could be made in the status. We will instruct the IT department to update it immediately.”

The officials also failed to provide details about the penalty imposed on the defaulters.

Meanwhile, to verify the improvement in the condition of the parking lots, HT revisited the spots on Thursday.

Except for the Model Town parking, where boards mentioning rates were put up at three places, the situation remained unchanged at other places. To this, Jagdev said, “We will visit the sites again and penalise the defaulters.”

Experts, meanwhile, reiterated their demand for a comprehensive parking policy.

Centre for Science and Environment executive director Anumita Roychowdhary said, thesituation in city is not going to improve unless there is a proper policy in place.

“The app is not a solution for overcoming the complaints for parking violations. It is important that the civic agency should strictly demarcate parking areas, impose high penalty on illegal parking and raise rates to reduce the parking demand.”

First Published: Jun 09, 2017 07:47 IST