Motorists must appreciate that pay parking is in everyone’s interest
WITH the notification of rates to be charged for pay parking, the Corporation of the City of Panaji has moved closer to implementing its decision on pay parking in the capital. Pay parking is a long-felt need not only in Panaji but in other towns of the state to prevent haphazard parking and ensure smooth flow of traffic. Pay parking would also instill discipline among motorists and help the CCP and other municipal bodies earn revenue that can be further used to improve the system. Hopefully the CCP will go ahead with its plan as the rates to be charged for pay parking in the jurisdiction of the CCP and approved by the district magistrate of North Goa have been notified in the official gazette. This is the third time that pay parking would be implemented in Panaji in the last five years. The pay parking system introduced in the city on two occasions was discontinued after the authorities ran into trouble with contractors.
The selected contractor, Juwarkar Associates, has been directed by the CCP to put up signages and mark the parking lots in the designated areas within a fortnight so as to implement the pay parking decision by the end of this month. It is surprising that the CCP has given the task of demarcation of parking lots and erection of the signages to the effect to the contractor. Is the erection of signages and marking of the parking lots part of the contract or is the CCP going to pay an additional amount to the contractor for undertaking the jobs? These works should have been done by the CCP so as to avoid confusion and disputes the contractor may encounter with the public. One good thing is that the CCP has removed the ambiguity over the validity time of the fees paid for parking to allow those who have paid fees to move their vehicle from one place to another within the validity time. This would reduce chances of conflict with the contractor.
One factor still stands in the way. The road conditions are bad in the capital city. That raises doubts whether the CCP would be able to enforce pay parking by the end of the month without causing more problems than it might seek to solve. Almost all the roads have been dug up for various reasons in Panaji and it is doubtful whether they would be restored to their original condition before pay parking is implemented. There is a need to first restore the dug-up roads to their original condition, make them smooth and wide as they were, and then properly mark the parking lots. Rather than trying to haphazardly implement the decision on pay parking, the CCP authorities should remove the impediments that exist on the roads and then install proper facilities and signages for smooth running of the system. It would have been better if the authorities had managed to install CCTV cameras in the areas where pay parking has been planned in order to avoid and resolve any conflicts between the employees of the contractor and motorists and also to take action
against the errant.
It has to be noted that people are used to free parking on roads and would resist the system to the extent possible by resorting to double parking outside the marked parking places. Public support can be won by value addition. The CCP should make sure that people have least complaints about the pay parking system. The decision behind implementing pay parking is not only to earn revenue but to establish order and discipline on the roads in the city and ensure a smooth flow of traffic. However, much would depend on how well the decision is enforced. As past attempts have failed, it is necessary that the CCP does not let any lacuna cause a setback. The CCP should also seek the backing of police and other concerned agencies. Public support is necessary for the success of pay parking. Every motorist must understand that pay parking is in the interest of all. The employees of the contractor should be properly trained to maintain etiquette and provide all possible support to motorists in parking and moving
out their vehicles.