Parking problems continue to plague Sarojini Nagar with the Delhi Police deciding to disallow vehicles to use the surface parking areas until the nearby multi-level facility is fully occupied. While the police view the decision as one that will encourage disciplined parking and therefore ensure better security, the area’s shopkeepers are displeased with the arrangements and point to encroachers as a security threat. The matter will be discussed at a meeting held later this week between the police, the civic body, the shopkeepers and DLF, the owners of the multi-level parking facility.

‘Disciplined parking’

“I don’t see why this should cause inconvenience to anyone. Our endeavour is to encourage disciplined parking. I have had meetings with the shopkeepers and we will hold one more in the coming days to sensitise them about the chaos it causes and the security risks it poses. If the multi-level parking was built there, it was only because there was a need for it and the decision was taken only after consultations with the New Delhi Municipal Council,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) B.S. Jaiswal.

However, the local traders and shoppers do not park in the multi-level facility only to save time. The Sarojini Nagar Market Association has repeatedly complained about the long waiting periods triggered by the poor management of the facility. The automated parking lot can accommodate 824 cars but traders in the area say not more than 450 cars have been parked in a day.

“We agree that haphazard parking is wrong and if any vehicle causes congestion it should be removed,” said Sarojini Nagar Market Association president Pramod Sharma. “But our concern is about the long queues that are formed outside the facility and the long waiting period for customers,” he said. “Even if the retrieval time is under three minutes, if there is a line of customers waiting for their cars, it will prolong the actual waiting time.”

On the delayed retrieval time faced by those parking the vehicles, Mr. Jaiswal said that efforts were being made to streamline the process and reduce the waiting period.

Mr. Sharma said the encroachments by vendors, especially on weekends, also pose a greater security risk in the area.

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