Directions given by Mayor Arun Sood for not allowing vendors in parking lots seem to have gone unheard with rampant encroachments by vendors leaving visitors harassed.
The worst situation was witnessed in Sector 22 where vendors were seen sitting in the parking lots. Other than Sector 22, chaos was also witnessed in sectors 15, 18, 19, 44, 46, Manimajra, Sector 35 and even in front of Elante Mall. In some sectors, tents had been pitched in the parking lot itself like the one in Sector 44.
“All the vendors are sitting here in the parking lots and we have no other option but to park on the road from where the traffic police tow our vehicles. The administration has not made any proper arrangements,” said Shweta Dutta, a visitor to the Sector 22 market.
Tejinder Singh, president of the Shastri Market Association, Sector 22, said, “We were assured by the mayor that visitors to our markets won’t be harassed as they would strictly ensure this time that no vendor encroaches upon the parking lot but people are facing huge inconvenience. Before the enforcement staff comes, they get a call and they clear up for minutes and come back again. It is all an eyewash.”
Vineet, another visitor, added, “The authorities are aware that every year the same issue crops up. So why can’t proper arrangements be made well in time? Why do people have to suffer? We heard there were directions that parking lots are meant only for parking but we can see the vendors all over the place.”
Those who are residing in Sector 22 too had a harrowing time as the visitors parked vehicles in front of their houses. “I had to go to see my aunt immediately because she was unwell but I could not take out my car because somebody had parked his vehicle exactly outside my house. I was lucky enough that the person came early. But this is no way of managing the chaos. Police should have taken note of this,” said Gunjan, a resident.
“I will just get it checked. I make an appeal to the shopkeepers and vendors. If parking space isn’t there, customers won’t come,” said Mayor Arun Sood.
Due to licences to street vendors, chaos this time has increased. This was one of the reasons that the traders had held back-to-back meetings with the mayor and he had given them an assurance that the MC would not let any vendor encroach on the parking lots.
A delegation of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal had met the mayor requesting him that the MC might ensure that parking lot was meant for vehicles of customers only and vendors might not be allowed to sit there.
Parking in schools
While commuters were a harassed lot on Tuesday as they found no place to park their vehicles, the education department is still undecided whether to open schools for parking. Director Education Rubinderjit Singh Brar said that they were yet to receive any orders from the Education Secretary. Later in the evening, however, parking was allowed in a government school in Sector 22.