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Automate neglected multi-level parking, UT Adviser tells officials

Officials said that the parking lots of Sector 17 have been in a neglected condition for the past three years, with issues like roof leakage and cracks in the walls, especially during the monsoon.

Chandigarh Adviser Dharam Pal on Wednesday took stock of the multi-level parking lot in Chandigarh’s Sector 17 and expressed his unhappiness at the neglected state in which the multi-crore project was lying. The automated parking system, which was one of the unique selling points at the parking lot when the parking was thrown open for the public in May 2016, had also stopped functioning, the Adviser noticed

Speaking to The Indian Express later, Dharam Pal said that he had directed officials responsible for the quality of the parking lot to make it fully automated and upgrade other such lots in Sector 17 at the earliest. Pal added that a plan will be formulated soon to bring back Sector 17’s lost glory.

Officials said that the parking lots of Sector 17 have been in a neglected condition for the past three years, with issues like roof leakage and cracks in the walls, especially during the monsoon.

The multi level parking was constructed at a cost of Rs 50 crore by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. The civic body initially struggled to run the parking as it was hardly being used due to its distance from the nearby plaza, making it a non-viable option for the elderly. Some surface parking lots in the area were even closed to encourage people to park their vehicles in the multilevel parking lot.

No space in SECTOR 17 surface parking lots
Finding a parking space in Sector 17 is a task nigh impossible with most surface parking lots in the area choked with vehicles or being poorly managed by the parking contractors. Prodded about the poor management of such parking lots, Chandigarh Municipal Commissioner Anindita Mitra asked for a daily inspection of the management and functionality of the lots’ features. The situation has improved since a system for checking was introduced in August this year.

During inspections so far, civic body teams have found several gaps in the management of such lots. Officials said that an app used to show real time available parking spots had not been working properly and at many lots sufficient parking signs were missing. It was also found that the LED screens displayed were non-functional. The contractors responsible were summoned by the commissioner to discuss new measures that need immediate implementation.

During the meeting, the contractors were directed to display rate lists wherever they haven’t been placed already and to display “No parking” and “No haphazard parking” sign boards as well. The introduction of a new ‘smart app’ was also discussed. Fixing issues related to the Internet connectivity and availability of quality uniform for the attendants were also also taken up in the meeting. Any contractors failing to follow the directions given by the civic body were threatened with a fine by the commissioner.

RUCKUS IN THE HOUSE MEETING
The Congress has continued to question the ‘smart less’ parking in the city. In the previous House session, they had demanded a report on all parking lots in the UT. The issue has continued to grow and disturbed the August meeting, with the Opposition voicing concern over what they alleged was the public being cheated on the promise of smart parking lots.

Congress councilors have asked for a reply regarding the absence of smart features in the parking lots and said that they would only allow the agenda to proceed once they receive a response. It was only after the commissioner sought time and pacified the Congress councilors that the issue was put to rest. On the directions of the Finance and Contract Committee, after UT Adviser Dharam Pal’s intervention , it was decided that the parking lots will be inspected regularly to fix all existing issues.

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