Parking woes continue for Delhiites

The delay in the implementation of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s (SDMC) project of providing better-monitored surface parking facilities has left the south Delhi residents at the mercy of parking attendants and contractors for a few more months.

In October last year, SDMC officials said revamped and better-monitored surface parking lots will be established as a new year gift for residents. But the corporation has failed to implement the new parking policy scheduled for the first week of January.

Sources in the civic body attributed the delay to the contractors’ lobbying with the political class for dilution of the harsh provisions of the new policy.

“The Remunerative Projects (RP) Department had sent the amended parking policy to the deliberative wing for clearance on October 24. The policy got anticipatory approval. However, the contractors approached the senior leaders of the south corporation. They opposed the stringent penalty provisions mooted against the contractors in the new policy,” a senior official said.

“A sub-committee of the RP cell members was formed to look into the policy once again. Now, registration of contractors and tendering of all the old and new surface parking lots would be done after the policy is cleared in the House,” the officer added.

RP Department chairman Ashish Sood said the sub-committee has submitted its report on February 4 and the policy is likely to come before the House for the final clearance later this month. “The three-member committee assessed the objections raised by the contractors. With minor changes in the proposed policy we have submitted the report. Now it depends on the House,” said Sood.

Sources, however, said that the sub-committee has accepted one of the major demands of the contractors: To reduce the amount demanded as bank guarantee by the contractors. The guarantee could be forfeited as penalty in case the contractors violate the contract beyond a fixed number of times.

“The new policy proposed bank guarantee of Rs 25 lakh, Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for A,B and C category of parking lots respectively. The sub-committee has reduced it to Rs 15 lakh, Rs 7 lakh and Rs 2 lakh for A, B and C categories respectively,” an official said.

The officials added that the policy is likely to be tabled before the House on February 21. However, if House fails to clear it, the implementation of the policy would be delayed by a few more months.

The new parking policy, announced by the SDMC mayor in mid-October, aims at making registration of contractors mandatory for the first time and allows only registered contractors to bid for parking tenders.

The policy also aims to make handheld electronic devices mandatory for issuing parking tickets. The devices would be connected to Delhi Police server and a central server. The new facilities would enable the drivers to pay for parking through cards that are accepted in DTC buses and in Delhi Metro. The new policy has also mooted CCTV surveillance at all parking lots.

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