People are sick of facing problems in parking their vehicles in busy markets of the city.
BHOPAL : Even as the gentleman was impatiently blowing the horn of his car, trying to take his vehicle out of the parking lot, a biker, apparently in great hurry, brushed past, leaving an ugly scratch on the door of his gleaming car. He was furious at the parking boy for being negligent and careless. “Do you how much it will cost to get this removed?” he asked him, only to be rebuffed with a what-can-I-do comment.
A bike rider was engaged in an argument with the parking lot attendant at Habibganj Parking lot. They were locked in a bitter wordy duel, unmindful of the onlookers. It all started with the bike rider wanting to know where the parking attendant was when he was trying to take his bike out. “When I have paid parking charges, someone should be available to assist me”, he declared.
This is a common scene in the city and almost everyone at some point in time has felt the necessity to ask questions regarding this state of affairs. The primary questions that cross one’s mind are: Which are the authorised parking lots in the city? Who are these boys with tokens in hand? Who has authorised them to collect money and why? What are their duties? Will the parking contractor make good my loss if my vehicle is damaged?
Haphazard parking has become a big headache in the state capital. Lack of space is of course a problem but the vehicle owners compound it by parking their vehicles wherever they wish. The parking lots are bursting at their seams. Instead of providing facilities to users, they have become sources of problems.
The parking lots in front of the row of swanky shops selling branded items across the road from Habibganj Police Station are no exception. Visitors as well as businessmen are facing problems. The vehicle users pay for the parking but still face problems.
The lane is lined with showrooms of branded items and is bang in the middle of Arera Colony. But the residents avoid visiting them because of the parking, which is not properly maintained by contractors and their agents. On the contrary, agents of a particular region misbehave with visitors.
Now it is being converted into ‘smart parking’. As per the new plan, CCTV cameras are being installed there. Visitors will be able to access the parking lot only after making payment.
Just to avoid parking lots, the people have started parking their vehicles on main roads. That leads to traffic problems with the roads leading to markets witnessing traffic jams. Even public transport vehicles face problems in negotiating the traffic, particularly around the Habibganj police station.
The situation is pathetic. We pay for parking but it is it is an uphill task for the visitors to park their vehicles, which get stranded in the jam-packed lot and then it becomes very difficult to bring them out. No agent comes for help. They only collect the money for parking and then disappear. Even public transports faced problems in negotiating traffic. Even policemen don’t intervene in the matter. And neither do they try to streamline the flow of traffic. The rapid increase in vehicular traffic, combined with narrow and insufficient space for parking, is the main reason for the problems in parking lots. Parking fee is mainly collected for the upkeep of the roads and pavements and to control haphazard parking on roads that causes a lot of inconvenience.”
Anil Chugh, of Titan showroom
Now it will be smart parking as people will have to pay for it. My point is that smart parking should not be only for collection of money. Facilities should also be provided to users. At present, it is also paid parking, but now there will be CCTV cameras and safety for vehicles. Agents hail from a particularly region and they only know how to misbehave with visitors.
Paid parking is a must but there must be authenticity and safety of vehicles. Cars are damaged so people do not prefer to park in parking lot. Anyone in the guise of agent collects parking charges. This should not be allowed. Paid parking should be regulated.
“Paresh, owner of Options
CCTV camera are being installed. Poles have been installed. But at present, visitors do not come to our shops. This business lane is of branded items for Arera Colony residents. But they do not come there just because of parking problems. They have to park their vehicles at Bittan Market or by at Habibganj police station. There is no security of their vehicles. Many times, we raised the issue with BMC administration but so far nothing has been done to regularize the parking lots.
Anand Sharma, consultant, PHQ
There is no monitoring on this paid parking. The boys deployed to monitor only charge money but they do not assist the visitors. Even if I come here for a few minutes, it takes half an hour to take out vehicles. First we have to search the parking assistants for help and it is time consuming process. And when I take out vehicle from parking lot, agents appear for collection.
No one come for help when we try to take our vehicles out. Vehicles get stranded in jam-packed parking. Contractors only charge money but as far facilities are concerned, they do not provide any. They are least bothered about the problems of visitors. Today, I parked my Bullet bike in the parking. And taking it out was a real headache. The contractors on the other hand have their own set of problems. They are awarded the contract by virtue of being the highest bidder in open auctions. So they try to collect more and more money.