GEORGE TOWN: Unrest in Hong Kong that paralysed the island’s airport is to blame for the hiccup in Penang’s quest to implement smart parking, says Jagdeep Singh Deo.
The state Local Government Committee chairman said when thousands of protesters flooded the airport, Penang Smart Parking (PSP) sensors could not be shipped on time.
“But the sensors are now on the way by sea and are due to reach Kuala Lumpur by the end of this month and Penang by Sept 6.
“Electronic equipment is usually shipped by air worldwide to avoid the risk of saltwater corrosion, ” he said.
Jagdeep said the state government was satisfied with the contractor’s explanation and knew the delay was beyond their control.
“We have given them until Sept 24 to ensure the issue is addressed.
“In any pilot project, the objective is to troubleshoot because there will certainly be teething problems.
“After it was launched last week, we found there were a few glitches and shortcomings, ” he said.
Jagdeep said the PSP sensors would make it easier for drivers to find vacant lots on the streets.
“It has a green effect because when you can find vacant parking lots quickly, you reduce your time on the road and cut down on carbon emissions.
“Enforcers can easily check on those who have not paid for their parking.
“Motorists will be notified when the time is about to expire so that they can top up their parking fee, ” he said.
Jagdeep said it was a good system and they were looking to tweak its implementation.
He also refuted some news reports that the state had spent some RM115mil on the PSP sensors.
“The whole cost is borne by the contractor, who will serve as its concessionaire and receive a percentage of revenue for seven years, ” he said.
Separately, HeiTech Padu Bhd executive vice-president Abdul Halim Md Lassim said they ordered 1,100 sensors from Hong Kong.
“We have installed 30 sensors along Gat Lebuh China. The remaining 967 sensors are to be installed on the island and mainland, ” he said.
Abdul Halim said Android phone users would be able to download the app today from App Store or Google Play.
According to earlier reports, HeiTech Padu would manage 36,000 parking lots statewide by August next year.
It will earn 65% of the parking fees for the first five years, and 60% in the final two years.
The remaining fee will go to the two local councils in Penang.
On Tuesday, Penang Island City Council and Seberang Prai Municipal Council issued show cause letters to HeiTech Padu for the delays.