The panel discussion on “Public Parking: Technology, Design and Management” at TrafficInfraTech Expo 2015 focused on the problems in public parking in the city and the possible solutions. The panelists were (left to right in picture below): Anant Kumar, Chief Engineer, New Delhi Municipal Council, Arvind Mayar, Chief Executive Officer, Secure Parking Solutions Pvt Ltd, N. Sathaynarayanan, Managing Director, Central Parking Services (Moderator), Gian Mathur, Managing Director, Gian P Mathur & Associates Pvt Ltd and Mark Chia, Identification Systems Business Development Manager, Nedap identification Systems, Asia.
New Delhi Municipal Council is a very small organization, our area is only 42.7sqkm and it is just 2% compared to whole Delhi, but it is very important since it is in the heart of the city and houses important offices and institutions such as the Indian President’s office, Parliament House etc.
The area under NDMC will be the first smart city, along with two other smart cities to be developed in Delhi. NDMC has come up with a 25 point programme for developing the smart city, with parking being one of the important areas that need to be worked on.
NDMC parking was earlier operated by different contractors and there were complaints of overcharging, mismanagement, chaotic conditions etc. Now it has been handed over to DIMTS which is a joint venture between the government and IDFC. Our model is not to maximize the revenue because we are not very dependent on parking revenue for running the Council, but more emphasis is on the convenience of the user, transparency and proper management.
DIMTS has introduced various modern parking systems in the 96 parking lots that are there in the NDMC area. There are two multilevel car parks, one at Baba Kharak Singh Marg and the other at Sarojani Nagar. The parking rates in these two car parks are very competitive but somehow they are not getting popular. The major concern is changing the mindset of the Indian people. Motorists want their car to be taken till the last point; they don’t want walk even for short distances. We had a programme to pedestrianize Connaught Place, but there were a lot of objections from the traders. So parking is becoming an increasingly big problem. Better solutions have to be provided. But since providing more parking facilities attracts more vehicles on the road, there has to be a balance between car parking and measures such as public parking & pedestrianization.
Getting on to smart cities, I think it definitely is a combination of on-street and off-street parking and how you combine the technologies to make the whole offering of parking citizen friendly is important. I completely agree with you.– Satyanarayanan