Monday, January 28, 2008

Parking lot courts mess

Parking lot courts mess
By Rashmi R Hebbur, DH News Service, Bangalore:

More than an year ago, the Public Works Department (PWD) completed construction of a multi-storeyed parking facility at the City Civil Courts’ Complex in Bangalore, for the benefit of advocates, judicial officers and court staff. But, till date, the parking complex remains a mess as there is none to supervise and regulate the parking of vehicles or to maintain the premises.

The multi-storeyed parking facility comprises of four floors which can accommodate about 115 four-wheelers each, and about 460 four-wheelers in all. Three floors of these were inaugurated in mid-2006, and the fourth floor too was completed in June 2007.

But, this huge facility available is not being utilised well for want of supervision for parking vehicles. Presently, those parking vehicles in the three floors in use, have nobody to guide them and no security arrangements is in place. While vehicles are parked haphazardly, entire parking premises is in a poor condition without regular cleaning. Since, top two floors of the complex, which will house court halls and offices, are still under construction, construction materials are also dumped in the parking spaces.

Three floors of the parking complex is supposed to be earmarked for advocates’ cars on payment of Rs 5 ‘maintenance charges’ per day. Half of the basement is earmarked for cars of judicial officers and Government officers attending courts, and rest is for two-wheelers of advocates. Litigants and visitors to the court complex are not allowed to park in the new parking complex. But, now, not only people attending courts but also those working at or visiting neighbouring offices are also parking their vehicles here.

Advocates Association, Bangalore president D L Jagadeesh said the Association has been persuading authorities for providing maintenance for the parking area, since past eight months. The association had earlier expressed its readiness to manage the facility by itself.

In November 2006, Karnataka High Court passed an order entrusting the task of maintenance and regulation of parking to the PWD, subject to its approval. And the PWD is said to have begun the process for outsourcing maintenance work to private contractors. But, nothing is implemented yet.

PWD superintendent Engineer Rajesh said that initially, the department was waiting for completion of the fourth floor of the parking complex. Later the process for entrusting the contract for regulating parking and maintaining the building after necessary approvals from the High Court and the State Government was taken up. He said, now the highest bidder had been identified and within a week, agreement in this regard would be signed.

Poor work

Advocate Ramesh Babu: “Parking area is always dirty and vehicles are being parked haphazardly. Only once in a month or two, the building contractor gets some cleaning done, and premises stinks most of the time. Cellar area is being misused for drinking and other activities after 6 pm.”

Advocate S Nagaraj: “Entry and exit points are the same for the parking complex, and hence it is inconvenient while driving the vehicles in or out, especially during peak hours. There are several pillars in the parking area, and no boards or arrow marks to guide entry, exit or parking spaces. The parking facility needs to be manned. We are ready to pay charges.

Further, owing to poor quality of work the flooring is already damaged at some places.”


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