Local Goa News

Monday, July 11, 2016

Pay & Park has no bite, only bark

Two months after the pay-parking system was introduced in Panjim, there is not much change apparent on the streets; the system, detractors say, is faulty and not people-friendly

It’s been two months since the pay and park system on the city roads begun and the verdict is that it has failed to achieve its objective – reduce the traffic mess and double parking. Panjim Mayor Surendra Furtado, who pushed this project that had been pending for long was himself booked by the traffic cell for double parking his car, proving just how big a failure the system has turned out to be. Pay parking was introduced at 18 different locations in May, yet appears to be operational only in a few stretches and the ‘boys’ deployed to collect the parking fees don’t appear to be prompt enough to charge each and every vehicle parking within the designated slots. “We don’t find any change in the parking mess even after shelling out so much in fees for parking a vehicle. Double parking continues and so too does haphazard parking,” Umesh Usgaonkar, a daily visitor to the city said. Usgaonkar, who lives in Mapusa and works in Panjim, has hardly paid any fees and says the system is not “effective”. “One day someone comes and collect fees, next day there is no one. Then again you find someone who charges, this is the kind of system at present,” he explained. Furtado said pay parking has not been introduced to generate revenue but to bring in discipline. “I admit that there are some teething problem. The system is just two months old and it will need time to fall into place,” he said adding that the complete system would be in place from September. The contractor Margao-based Straight Deal Services has deployed several boys, most of them Goans, to collect the parking fees. However, the boys are usually seen in confrontation with vehicle owners over the parking fees. Two-wheelers that are to be charged Rs 4 are made to pay Rs 5 as the boys do not return the change. Also on various occasions it has been seen that people get frustrated for being made to shell out fees every time they park in the city. Former Mayor and opposition councilor Vaidehi Naik pointed out that CCP’s failure to make available proper infrastructure has irked many who refuse to pay parking fees. “A proper survey was not conducted by CCP before implementing the project. In many places, the road conditions are not good and hence people object to pay. Also, the system is not very effective and people-friendly,” she said..

Herald Goa News

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