Thursday, January 28, 2010


A five-star hotel on HAL airport road will soon open the city’s first semi-automatic multi-level car parking system

In Bangalore, every day 300 new cars get on the road where already 4.5 lakh of them are jostling for space. As proposed sites for parking lots are turned into sprawling malls and the BBMP looks the other way, finding a 8x22 metre space has become next to impossible. From basement parking to multilevel parking facility, solutions are mooted only to become redundant in a short while. Now, The Leela Palace on Old Airport Road has come up with Bangalore’s first semi-automatic multi-level parking system. ABORTED PROJECT
The idea of automated parking lots has been doing the rounds in BBMP corridors for the last ten years, but typically nothing has happened. In fact, the idea had gained momentum when techies from Bangalore started making frequent trips to the USA and Europe, which have automated parking systems.The BBMP had proposed to construct a four-storey car park near M G Road on a 70x41 metre area with a capacity to accommodate 384 cars. The car park was to be fully computerised and equipped with a vertical lift to park cars. But the project never took off because of opposition from the parking contractor lobby.
It is the first of its kind in India to be housed outdoors.
“We at Leela had parking space for about a thousand cars, including the basement. But during weddings and similar occasions, we’d have a situation at the parking lot. The numbers swell considerably and add that to our guest list who visit the restaurants and come to shop, it would get uncomfortable,” said Shailendra Verma, Director of Engineering, The Leela Palace.
So, instead of waiting for the problem to become a crisis, the hotel got a Turkish parking solutions company to install the facility. All it requires you to do is drive your car straight into the designated spot (if you don’t opt for the valet) and a hydraulic motor will then lift the plate and park the vehicle for you. Every unit is called a stacker and three cars can be parked in each of them, one above the other. There are 198 stackers that will be thrown open to the guests of the hotel in three months, increasing the hotel’s parking capacity to 1600 cars. The technique which has been used in the US and the UK also has a mechanical safety lock and a manual lever to ensure safety.
There will be a parachute valve for extra protection. The plates which will lift the vehicles are made of galvanised iron that an carry up to three tonnes. Verma refused to divulge the details of the cost of the project, but acknowledged that the amount ran into crores of rupees.
Bangalore has only two major multi-level parking facilities in the city - J C Road and Maharaja Complex on Kempe Gowda Road —- apart from a few government complexes that provide parking space.These parking lots can hardly accommodate 5,000 vehicles (including two-wheelers). Though experts say that about 40 new complexes with a parking space for more than one lakh vehicles is needed, just six more multi-level complexes have been shortlisted. They are:
— Gandhi Nagar — opposite Sukh Sagar Hotel — Gandhi Nagar — Old Central Jail Campus (Freedom Park) — Shivajinagar — Russel Market — SP Road — Behind LIC building — Gandhi Bazar — Near the flower market — Kengeri Satellite Town — opposite Surana College
Garuda Mall, Magrath Road — 1070 cars Forum Mall, Koramangala — 700 cars U B City, Vittal Mallya Road — 1610 cars


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