One year on, no end to people's woes at SN multi-level parking

Shoppers, traders call it a flop, say vehicle retrieval takes time

Even as the first automated multi-level parking in the city at Sarojini Nagar completed one year of its operations on Friday, parking woes of motorists visiting the South Delhi market is far from over.

The automated parking, built on a PPP model by DLF in association with New Delhi Municipal Council, has been under the scanner ever since it was inaugurated in November last year with issues like delay in retrieval of vehicles, server going down leading to cars stuck in the parking lots among others.

While the shoppers and the traders at the market term it as a failed project, the operators DLF say they are satisfied with the performance of the parking facility.

“The statistics reveal that over 50,000 customers have been serviced with the occupancy showing a rapid increase during this duration,” said Benu Sehgal, project head, DLF multi-level car parking.

According to the DLF executives, while the average occupancy of the parking lot – with a capacity of 824 cars – over the last one year has been around 400 cars, the occupancy goes up to 700 during the weekends.

The operators said a pro-active support from the government agencies will help to make optimum use of the facility.

“NDMC needs to increase the rate of surface parking at the market. Even Bhure Lal has been advocating for hike in parking rates. There should also be a paradigm shift in the mindset of people while assessing such projects,” said Sehgal.

The DLF also operates five surface parking lots at the market.

However, the shoppers and the traders at the market are not happy with the service.
President of the Sarojini Nagar Market Traders’ Association, Pramod Kumar said the facility has added to the parking and traffic woes.

“They want all traders to park their cars at the parking lot. With around 300 traders, the opening and the closing time of all the shops are more or less the same.

They said they would require around two and a half hours to park or retrieve as many cars. Do they expect people to wait for two hours?” asked Kumar.

The shoppers feel that increasing charges of surface parking will not have any impact on the performance of the multi-level parking.

“Keeping in mind the time it takes to park and retrieve a car at the multi-level parking, especially on weekends, I won’t mind paying Rs 50 to park at the surface parking. I have seen chaos at the parking on weekends.

Moreover, the parking does not have an alternative to retrieve the cars if the lifts stop functioning. I don’t think the cars are safe if any mishaps like fire takes place,” said Shivam Sandhu, a regular shopper at the market.

The average footfall at the market on a weekend is around 50,000 while on the weekdays it is around 20,000.

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