Traders, officers divided over parking lot

Traders, officers divided over parking lot

An efficiency test conducted at the automated multi-level parking lot at Sarojini Nagar Market here on Wednesday, left Delhi municipal council officials and the traders divided wide apart. While the traders dubbed it utter ‘chaos’, the officers hailed it a grand ‘success’ as they had been able to park and retrieve 170 cars in just one hour.

The traders said theiacr reservations about the parking facility had turned out to be true. “The way things were conducted today has justified all the issues we raised before the Bhure Lal Committee. We allowed parking for around 150 cars in the morning, but it took hours to clear all the vehicles,” said Pramod Kumar, president of Sarojini Nagar Market Traders' Association.

However, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) officials claimed they were satisfied with the test. “The reports of the test are good. Over 170 cars were parked and retrieved in one hour,” said Amit Prasad, NDMC spokesperson.  

The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) directed NDMC on Saturday to conduct the test along with the private concessionaire (DLF) and the traders' association, following repeated complaints from the  Association about poor management of the parking lot.

The traders alleged that the operators of the parking lot claim that they park and retrieve the cars within three minutes, which is not true as the time taken depends on the waiting time in the queue.
“Due to heavy rush on weekends and holidays, even if the three-minute norm is accepted, the tenth motorist in the queue will spend at least 30 minutes,” said Ashok Randhwa, president of Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Traders' Association.

The traders also refused to see logic in the request that all the shopkeepers of the market should park their vehicles in the automated parking lot to promote the facility.

“All the shops in the market open between 10 and 11.30 am and close around 9 pm. Over 400 cars belong to the traders.  The operators say they require three hours to retrieve 400 cars. Do they expect us to wait till midnight to claim our cars,” asked Pramod Kumar. The traders also expressed reservation against the decision to reduce surface parking at the market.

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