Shopkeepers say an upcoming four-storey multi-level parking lot will not be able to solve the area's long-standing problems.
In a few days from now, south Delhi's famous Sarojini Nagar market will have a new multi-level parking lot. But shopkeepers and some residents of the area are less than thrilled. The market with more than 200 established shops has had a long-standing vehicle parking problem. However, locals say the new structure is not an answer to their woes.
The Sarojini Market Traders Association (SMTA), in vehement opposition of the parking plan passed by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), has written to several government officials, including Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the chairman as well as the commissioner of the civic agency, about the parking woes attached with the new mechanical parking lot-cum-mall, due to be opened November 10.
Retail therapy: The parking lot-cum-mall Pics/Imtiyaz Khan
Traders allege the upcoming South Square parking-cum-mall has space for 824 cars only. But as the mall will have over 100 retail shops and food joints, their parking space will be automatically reduced.
"We have been complaining about the car parking situation since long. Now NDMC is coming up with this multi-level parking lot-cum-mall, which rather than solving our problems will aggravate them as the outside parking area will be closed from November 10 onwards. About a 100 more shopkeepers will park their vehicles there; where will we go?" said Pramod Kumar, president, SMTA.
Meanwhile, the market association claims, the multi-level car parking structure is completely electronic, but there are no ramps or staircases as fallback in case of power failure or an emergency. "The upcoming structure can prove hazardous if there's a blaze or power failure. Also, the developers here have taken a lot of money, yet they could not provide us sufficient space for the basic problem of parking our vehicles. This is our space, still we cannot avail any of the benefits," said, Sushil Kumar, a shopkeeper, who owns a jewellery store in the market.
The other side
However, NDMC official spokesperson, Anil Prasad, said, "It will be a proper multi-level car parking structure. The system is robust with a hundred per cent power back up, which is not expected to fail. As far as parking is concerned, only the roadside parking will be removed, while the surface parking will remain in place."