New Delhi: The changing urban landscape, with rising vehicle population and shrinking spaces, has added to the parking woes of cities, big and small. Experts say the government’s push for smart mobility initiatives in India could, in fact, hit a wall without smart parking solutions.

“Mobility should be looked holistically. If you provide public buses, but no space to park them, it is not a solution. It is similar for personal vehicles. These days, roads have become a parking lot," said a senior government official, on the condition of anonymity.

“Therefore, since land is a state subject and municipal corporations are the ones responsible for it, they need to be roped in," he added.

While municipal corporations are being prodded by the government to provide vertical parking spaces with multi-level parking, they must also insist on building parking spaces before approving plans for both residential and commercial units.

Besides, emerging internet of things (IoT) solutions may also prove to be beneficial. And driving the technology initiatives for end-to-end parking solutions are a bunch of start-ups, including ParkZebra, Get My Parking, Parking Rhino and Parkwheels.

While app-based services have already been rolled out for advanced booking options, wherein commuters are just required to post a request and pay online before heading out to get a parking without hassle, these start-ups are also working on parking infrastructure and management solutions.

Some of these initiatives have not only helped reduce urban traffic congestion, but have also added efficiency in managing operations at parking lots. So far, the initiatives are being experimented with at tier-I and tier-II cities.

Rasik Pansare, co-founder of smart-parking start-up, Get My Parking, said mobility has three sub-sets—personal, commercial and public, and smart parking solutions have to be designed separately for each set.

“Smart mobility is incomplete without smart parking. Smart mobility is nothing but redesigning traditional transportation systems with new-age technology and tools, and a similar set-up is required in the modern day parking too," he added.

According to Pansare, reports show that around 30% of road congestions are caused by people looking for a parking space.

“If you have pre-determined or pre-booked space for parking, you save a lot of time. It also results in economic and environment saving, which is generally ignored."

Get My Parking is working independently across cities, including Delhi-NCR.

“In India, parking has never been given importance and now the scenario is changing. The evolving smart cities are ensuring to make smart parking an essential component of their designing," said T.N. Pratap, co-founder, ParkZebra. The start-up is working with malls, hospitals and public places in Bengaluru and is now looking to expand to other cities.

Gurugram-based Parkwheels, which is looking to partner with real estate companies, is yet another start-up providing specialized parking solutions. The company offers two technology solutions —an underground parking solution using radio frequency identification (RFID), and a surface or on-street parking solution using cameras.

Parkwheels works in Delhi-NCR and its clients include DLF, Royal Bank of Scotland and Airtel. It has also tied up with the Lodha Group in Mumbai for its real estate projects.

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