In his letter to Alok Tandon, the SP (traffic) has mentioned the terms of agreement between the DLF Group — which is managing parking operations in Sector 18 and MLP — and the Noida Authority, stating “the same had clearly mentioned that surface parking would be continued only till the MLP is not fully functional [sic].”
With dismal staff strength and no traffic marshals, Noida’s traffic police rues that for the past two months, illegally parked vehicles haven’t been towed in the area. Jha told TOI that while the MLP, with a capacity of at least 3,000 vehicles, is fully functional now, it still gets an occupancy of around only 1,500 vehicles even during weekends. The MLP was inaugurated on January 24, 2018, as part of multiple projects inaugurated on the occasion of UP Diwas. “According to the agreement between the Authority and DLF, surface parking was supposed to continue only till the MLP became fully operational. With the MLP operational, it’s high time surface parking is stopped,” he said, adding that average occupancy of the eight-storeyed MLP during weekends was between 1,500-2,000. Dev Baisoya, who oversees operations of the DLF Group at the Mall of India in Sector 18, told TOI, “We’ll follow tender guidelines.”
Jha rued that in the absence of enforcement due to lack of traffic police personnel, commuters and shoppers have begun illegal parking on inner roads in the sector once again. “Towing has not happened in the sector for the past two months due to lack of staff. If we need to streamline traffic flow, we need strict enforcement of rules here, including giving challans to those who break rules,” he said. TOI had earlier reported that the 292 marshals, who were absorbed by Noida Authority for two months after repeated requests by the Gautam Budh Nagar SSP, were withdrawn by the Authority on August 15 after their term expired. The terms of the remaining 70 marshals expired on December 30, with the Authority not extending their tenure.
Currently, there are 68 head constables, 38 head constables (promotee), 53 constables, six traffic inspectors and two traffic sub-inspectors with the traffic police, but almost a third are away on Kumbh Mela duty, while the rest have been kept busy with VVIP visits throughout January and February. Asked about the missive from traffic police, Rajesh Kumar Singh, officer-on-special-duty (OSD) to Noida Authority, told TOI that they are yet to receive the letter that was sent on Wednesday itself. “Any comment would be possible only after 2-3 days,” he said.
Regarding concerns expressed by traffic cops about traders not parking their vehicles at the MLP, Sector 18 market association president Sushil Jain told TOI that if surface parking is abolished, shoppers have to be provided alternative facilities to help them reach their desired shop easily. “Any such move should follow prior arrangements suitable for commuters,” he said.