The system of tokens was started at parking lots in Sector 17 on Tuesday but faced some teething problems. Once the tokens were finished,commuters had to be turned back and a few visitors argued that they should be allowed to enter the parking lots. However,the parking lots bore a more organised look – sans the traffic snarls that have become so commonplace. In order to streamline the parking lots,the Municipal Corporation (MC) has started the system of allotting tokens along with parking slips in two parking lots. The one near Empire Store has a capacity of 110 vehicles while another one near Sahib Singh & Sons has slots for 350 vehicles. Visitors to the Sector were not allowed to enter these two parking lots once the slots were filled up.
The slots were filled up three or four times and the parking lots had to be closed for commuters for short periods. Chaos was witnessed when drivers who reached the entrance of the parking lot,finding no slots left,had to turn back. This led to some traffic snarls. Officials stated that since it was a working day and the sale season was off,the rush was relatively less. The impact of the new system would be clearer by the weekend when there are more visitors to Sector 17.
Civic body officials also called the police recovery van a couple of times in order to clear off vehicles that were wrongly parked. It was found that some cars were parked outside the parking lots in areas not designated as parking space.
The system generated mixed reactions among the residents. One visitor to Sector 17,Amit Bansal,said that it was a smooth ride within the parking lots as vehicles were not haphazardly parked. There have been times when my car got stuck in the parking lot as someone parked a car behind it. There is still a need for streamlining the system, he said. However,those who could not enter the parking lots and had to find space elsewhere were a harried lot. Generally,contractors used to keep allowing vehicles to be parked inside the parking lots much beyond the designated capacity.
This used to created chaotic conditions even though the contractors benefited from it. Concern had also been expressed that this used to leave no space for emergency vehicles to enter the parking lots. The shopkeepers have expressed some reservations about the system as they fear it will affect their customers.
The MC is contemplating a proposal that those with parking passes for free parking should be barred from entering these two parking lots. This would prevent losses to contractors.