It’s just over a month since Chandigarh administration launched a parking app to help people book space to park their vehicles, the number of daily bookings have dropped down to just 100 from initial 500. Thanks to the “technical glitches” and “mismanagement by the parking lot staff”.
While the company managing the parking lots, Arya Toll Infra Limited, has blamed poor enforcement for the fading response, residents, on the other hand, say either they fail to open the app, Arya Smart Parking Chandigarh, due to technical glitches or even if they manage to book, they don’t find space.
Chairman of Federation of Sectors Welfare Association of Chandigarh Baljinder Singh Bittu said there have been instances when despite showing the booking to the parking attendants, they denied the residents saying that they can’t refuse others if parking space is available.
”Thus the parking attendants are encouraging haphazard parking. They ask the driver to leave his/her vehicle in neutral and allow it to be parked anywhere in the parking lot. That way, the contractor makes extra money by accommodating vehicles beyond the parking lot’s capacity,” he said.
A resident of Sector 23, Hitesh Kumar, said he had been facing technical issues while opening the application. “The location of Chandigarh does come up in the app, but the next page, which would show the available parking lots at different locations, comes blank,” he said.
Project Coordinator Sandeep Bhora said that it is the poor enforcement by Municipal Corporation, which is fading out the project. “People know that even if they don’t get any space in the parking lot, they can park their vehicles outside or anywhere illegally as there is no fine,” he told Chandigarh Newsline.
On the issue of advance booking of a parking slot not being implemented effectively, Bhora added, “When there is a queue of vehicles, and the first one is being told that the parking is full, the one waiting after him/her cannot be allowed to jump the queue and given a parking space. That may lead to scuffles.”
Bhora added that they have been incurring software cost daily, but the project is not turning out to be useful.
On the technical glitches, project coordinator Bhora, said, “These are teething problems”.
The parking app was launched on December 6 by UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore at Punjab Raj Bhawan with three main purposes – to show the user number of vacant slots in a parking lot, to enable user to book a vacant slot in advance and help to locate a parking lot nearest to their location.
To book the space, one has to enter vehicle details — a four-wheeler or two-wheeler, the time of arrival — and book his space. When the person goes to the parking lot, he has to show the QR code to the parking attendant. The payment has to be made at the time of exit.