Contractors charge more for parking in Sarojini

They fleece shoppers who avoid multi-level facility

Parking around Sarojini Nagar market continues to be a mess even over two years after the multi-level car parking was inaugurated. While shoppers park their cars on the main and inner roads, adding to the congestion, contractors overcharge motorists.

“NDMC has brought down the number of official parking lots to 248. But at least 6,000 cars are parked in rotation throughout the day. Not only are cars being parked illegally, but contractors are also overcharging customers,” member of Sabzi Market Association Vijay Kumar said.

The standard rate for vehicles parked for the first fours hour is Rs 10 and Rs 30 for eight hours. But contractors usually charge visitors Rs 30 for the first two hours. 

“Every day we see how contractors overcharge visitors. If you park your car for even 20 minutes they will force you to pay Rs 30,” local trader Om Dutt Sharma said.

The slips that guards manning the parking lots give to customers mention Rs 30 for the first four hours. This rate is, however, not approved by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).

“The slip that the guard gave me was torn. I parked my car for half-an-hour and was asked to pay Rs 30. I didn’t even know the guard was overcharging till a trader intervened,” a weekend shopper Pooja Puri said.

Another shopper Meghna Saraswat said this happens “daily”. “They will never settle for Rs 10. Instead, the contractors will claim to be lowering the rate from Rs 50. I try to avoid getting my car here because of this menace,” Saraswat added.

“Shoppers who park their cars here are often harassed as they are required to pay more than the standard rate. But also the issue is not getting resolved as visitors choose not to highlight the matter and get done with by paying extra,” president of Sarojini Nagar Traders’ Association Pramod Sharma said. “Whenever it comes to the knowledge of NDMC or the traders’ association, a heavy penalty is levied on the contractor,” Sharma said.

After the introduction of multi-level car parking, the NDMC brought the number of surface level car parking lots from 1,200 to 248 to decongest the arterial road. 

The multi-level parking, which can accommodate up to 824 cars, has not been a success. This is mainly because shoppers choose to randomly park their cars on the road.

Jalaj Shrivastava, chairperson of NDMC, said, “Now that the polls are over, concrete steps are being taken to systematise the existing 99 parking lots in the city. Hopefully, in the next one week the official order for a new system will kick in.”

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