After locking horns with the Chandigarh municipal corporation over the closure of two parking lots — Sahib Singh and Empire Store — in Sector 17, the traders association has come up with a plan for resolving the issue and rejuvenation of the market.
The Sector 17 Traders Association has proposed to close down complete Empire Store parking and a portion of Sahib Singh parking. As per the proposal, Sahib Singh parking will be be closed beyond SCO number 27 (Phulkari Showroom). To create more space, the parking lot adjoining to electricity office in Sector 17 will be connected with Sahib Singh parking. The parking will have pick-up and drop-off points.
For convenience of general public, the association has proposed free valet parking service. The association will bear the cost of the service. The Empire Store parking lot has been proposed to used for setting up kiosks, play area for children and water body. A part of the lot will be developed as green area.
As per the plan, the ground floor 30 Bays Building, which at present is being occupied by government department, be rented out to multinational food joints. The association will submit the proposal, which has been prepared by city-based architect Vinod Joshi, to UT Adviser Parimal Rai next week.
Neeraj Bajaj, who had led the protest against the corporation’s move, said the proposal was prepared after considering all aspects. “No one wants Sector 17 to be developed more than us traders. We want the footfall to increase and it directly benefits us,” said Bajaj.
The civic body had closed both the parking lots on May 9 to facilitate opening of multilevel parking in Sector 17. The decision had sparked a row with traders taking to the street against the decision blaming BJP mayor Arun Sood for closure of parkings. The agitation of the traders took a political colour with Congress as well as BJP councillors demanding re-opening of the parking lots. The corporation scummed under pressure and re-opened the parking lots on May 14.
In the revised Smart City proposal, the administration plans to develop Sector 17 as an art and innovation centre. The area surrounding Sector 17 Plaza will be declared as no-vehicle zone and battery-operated carts will be deployed in the Plaza area for connecting the Plaza to parking lots. For attracting people of different age and income groups, landscaping and beautification of the open spaces will be done. The authorities also intend to convert large parking areas into plazas.