Chandigarh would become the first city in the country where all public parking lots would be managed by women.
A smart parking system would be rolled out in the second week of June under the joint initiative of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and Arya Toll Infra Ltd, the company allotted the parking contract. The women attendants will manage all 25 parking lots in markets in different sectors of the city as well as multi-level parking in Sector 17 from 7.30 am to 9 pm. After 9 pm, men would manage the parking lots.
Municipal Commissioner Baldeo Purushartha confirmed the development. The specific date of the launch is yet to be announced. There would be designated “pink parking spots” in parking areas reserved for women drivers. Arya Toll Infra, which is a Mumbai-based company, was allotted the parking contract for Rs 14.78 crore.
For the last one year, the parking lots have remained without contractors, causing losses to the civic body.
Sandeep Bhora, the project coordinator of Arya Toll Infra, said: “Women are able to handle all kinds of situations well and they are good managers. Chandigarh is the best city to start this pilot in the country because it is comparatively safer than other cities.”
Over 200 women would be hired by the company. In addition, some employees would be provided by the Urban Poverty Alleviation and Livelihood cell of the municipal corporation.
When asked how would the company ensure the safety of women attendants, Bhora said: “In the first place, all our parking lots would be under CCTV surveillance. Moreover, our entire staff would have an internal WhatsApp group and if any attendant faces any issue, she can immediately post it there.”
Also, motorists would be able to book parking space in advance through a mobile app which would be launched a day before the new smart parking system starts.
The details of all the parking lots and the space available would be available on the app. “Say, if a resident has to go to Sector 17, he can just book his parking space in the nearest parking lot of the sector. Online payments can be made through e-wallets or other facilities provided in the app,”said a municipal official.
If no parking space is available in the nearest lot, the details of other parking lots would automatically come on the app. A senior officer of the municipal corporation said that before rolling out the new system, all the women attendants would be imparted training that would be held next week.
The parking lots will have designated slots for senior citizens and disabled drivers. There are plans to have a system where slips issued for parking would automatically be generated in the name of the vehicle owner.