Nearly three months after the civic body took charge, the Rs 50-crore multi-level parking lot is still not running to capacity. Although the festive season is on, the facility has been receiving the usual 550-600 cars daily on an average. This is because all the surface parking lots at Sector 17 allow free parking and are run without a contractor with people preferring to park their vehicles near the shop they visit. So, there were cars only at the first level of the underground multi-level parking lot, mostly belonging to Sector 17 traders, while the second and third floors wore a deserted look. As a result, the facility, which can accommodate 931 cars, has been incurring losses worth Rs 3.5 lakh per month.
After the company, earlier running the multi-level parking lot, left in August, the civic body decided to run it with around 30 employees. But people still preferred surface parking lots. While some surface parking lots at Sector 17 were surrendered by contractors, the terms of other contractors ended. For multi-level parking, the fee is Rs 5 per vehicle whereas the surface parking lots are free. “The multi-level parking is quite far off. My mother is old and she can’t walk much,” said Ritu, a visitor at Sector 17 Plaza.
Earlier, the civic body was paying the contractor Rs 6.2 lakh a month for operations with collection from vehicles being nearly Rs 90,000 per month. In fact, the corporation’s decision to shut down two Sector 17 parking lots – Empire Store and Sahib Singh – was opposed by traders and the authorities were forced to re-open them, leading to a drastic fall in vehicles at the multi-level parking.
Built over a sprawling 4.78 acres at a cost of Rs 46.62 crore, the parking facility, having eight lifts, has two computerised ticket counters at entry and exit points and two ramps for the entry and exit of vehicles. The charge for four-wheelers is Rs 5 for the first four hours and Rs 5 for every additional hour.