Thursday, November 19, 2009

LOTS OF PARKING?

LOTS OF PARKING?
16 Locations Identified For Multi-Level Complexes, But Where’s The Space For 40 More?
Aarthi R | TNN

Bangalore: If the gridlock on city roads makes you think twice before taking your vehicle out, finding parking space will make you go around in circles and add to the traffic jam.
But, there’s a glimmer of hope. Work on the long-awaited, multi-level parking lots could begin in the next 4-5 months. With the concept plan almost ready and Detailed Project Reports being prepared, the BBMP is now finalizing 16 locations for the project for which Rs 500 crore has been earmarked under the comprehensive city development plan.
The tendering process could begin after the locations are finalized and that could take another three months. Ground work will begin a month later and the approximate time to complete the structures is a minimum of 18-20 months, say BBMP officials. The mechanized system proposed under the Swiss Challenge Method on Build - Own / Operate - Transfer mode will look at both cellar as well as elevated models of parking.
NEED 50, GET 16
The surface level roadside parking is almost saturated now. The only option is to go vertical with multi-level parking. Traffic experts suggest the city needs at least 40-50 such complexes. But, to find space for even a dozen has taken almost a year, say BBMP officials.
Incidentally, the city currently has only two multi-level complexes — on J C Road and Maharaja Complex on Kempe Gowda Road.
Even the six slots shortlisted earlier are yet to be finalized, officials said. These include two in Gandhinagar (opposite Sukh Sagar hotel and on the old Central Jail campus), Russell Market area in Shivajinagar, behind LIC building on SP Cross Road, flower market in Gandhi Bazaar and opposite Surana College campus in Kengeri satellite town.
“It’s unfortunate. We have the technology now but what’s taking time is the space crunch. There’s absolutely no space available in places where such parking complexes are needed. Even if we get the land, we need to ensure there’s also a commercial component to complement it. As parking alone is not profitable for bidders for sustained maintenance — they ask for a commercial component — either within the complex or around it,’’ a BBMP engineer told TOI.
YET ANOTHER CHALLENGE
Using the Swiss Challenge method has paved the way for better technology. But, the real challenge, apart from high investment, is the evaluation process. The BBMP is using this method for the first time and trying hard to understand this ‘complex’ way with new technology. “There are many procedures involved so the initial evaluation is time. However, once that’s done, it should be a fast process,” a BBMP official explained.

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