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Soon, lessons in good behaviour for South Delhi parking attendants

The sessions were scheduled after the South Delhi Municipal Corporation received several complaints from customers about the ‘rude and unprofessional’ behaviour of parking attendants.

delhi Updated: Sep 06, 2018 04:02 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi parking,behaviourial sessions,Good behaviour
A parking lot at Connaught Place in central Delhi. (Mohd Zakir/HT Photo)

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has planned ‘behaviourial sessions’ for the 800-900 contract parking attendants working at the corporation’s 95 surface parking lots beginning next week. The sessions were scheduled after the civic body received several complaints from customers about the ‘rude and unprofessional’ behaviour of parking attendants. The civic body has also planned to start a mobile phone app, where customers can file complaints against parking attendants.

While the civic body has already told the parking attendants to wear a common uniform — green T-shirts and black trousers — with the SDMC logo during work hours, the contractors, who manage these parking attendants, have been told to complete police verification of all parking attendants at the earliest. “During our meetings with Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), we received several complaints about parking attendants overcharging customers, issuing parking slips manually, arguing with them or not helping them park their vehicles. This forced us to get involved,” said Prem Shankar Jha, deputy commissioner, remunerative and project cell, SDMC.

Jha said that during the sessions, the attendants would be trained to deal with customers, especially senior citizens, women and foreign tourists.

Experts, however, argued that other problems such as formulating a parking management policy and getting rid of illegal parking spaces should be taken care of first.

Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy, Centre for Science and Environment, said, “There is a need for a parking management policy for each neighbourhood, where each parking area is demarcated. If implemented forcefully, it will automatically resolve parking-related issues in the city.”

City residents, on the other hand, said parking troubles would not improve unless errant civic body officials are taken to task.

Harvinder Singh, member of Lajpat Nagar III Welfare Association, said, “At Lajpat Nagar’s parking lot, cars are parked in double lanes against the permissible single lane parking policy. This leads to traffic jams. The SDMC officials are aware about the violation but the situation hasn’t improved.” 

Another problem at the parking lots, officials said, was of contractors flouting rules of the tender documents and the contract signed with the civic body.

Shikha Rai, SDMC standing committee chairperson, said, “Our teams recently visited the surface parking lots and found many contractors were not displaying site maps, estimated car spaces and rate lists at the entrance. Many of them were operating without hand-held devices and uniforms. The parking spaces were not even demarcated.”

Rai said she has directed officials to conduct surprise inspections at the parking lots — especially in areas such as Lajpat Nagar, Green Park, South Extension, Greater Kailash — and issue fine to defaulting contractors.

Senior SDMC officials said if parking attendants are caught without their uniforms or seen flouting rules, they would be fined around 10% of the monthly licencing fee that they pay to the civic body.

There are a total of 104 parking lots under the civic body’s jurisdiction, which stretches from Sunder Nagar in south to Rajouri Garden in west Delhi.

First Published: Sep 06, 2018 04:01 IST