THE DEPARTMENT of Urban Planning has given the go-ahead to the project of constructing a passage that is a pathway connecting Sector 17 ISBT with the Sector 22-B market here in the city. According to the project, the parking lot in front of the Sector 22 market, which mostly houses shops selling mobile phones and a few hotels, will be converted into a green space with cycle tracks and a tabletop (an overbridge) connecting the Sector 17 ISBT and Sector 22, would be constructed.
The plan states that the existing parking lot and the bus stop in front of the market would be closed and shifted near Junction 27 at ISBT Sector 17. To facilitate visitors coming to the Sector 22 market, a tabletop would be constructed connecting the two areas. Already up in arms against the project, traders have threatened to protest if the administration closes the parking lot.
A senior official of the administration said there was space near the bus terminal’s exit where people could park their vehicles as it could easily accommodate 150 cars and 100 two-wheelers following which this was proposed. However, the MC Chief Engineer, in a letter written last year, had specified that the new proposed area would not be able to withstand the rush of the existing parking.
A letter written by the Chief Architect to the Home Secretary and other officials on Wednesday, following a meeting with various stakeholders on June 19, stated, “The existing parking will be converted into a landscaped area with dedicated cycle track kiosks of big brands with plastic sheds as in Singapore shall be provided to facilitate the visitors. The existing parking is proposed to be shifted to ISBT Sector 17 near junction 27 with a view in direct connectivity through tabletop to the existing market.”
It was also specified that a taxi stand, rickshaw or an auto stand at both ends of the showrooms and a premium parking behind the existing showrooms (behind Hotel Sunbeam) have been proposed. This parking lot would be more of a pick-and-drop facility. A dedicated parking lot for emergency vehicles, physically challenged, pick-up and drop-off taxis has been proposed in this plan.
A letter by the Chief Engineer to the Chief Architect in February last year had specified that the space for parking at ISBT Sector 17 was not sufficient. The letter also stated that the area as proposed could not hold the rush of the parking lot which usually has 385 four-wheelers and 786 two-wheelers during the peak hour between 12 noon and 2 pm. “Also, there is apprehension that parking place at a distance may invite resentment from traders and customers as it has been at Sector 17,” the letter stated.
After the urban planning department’s proposal, the matter would be taken up with the UT Adviser for his final approval. Subhash Narang, President of the Sector 22 Market Association, said there are over 5,000 employees in this market. “This is like the biggest mobile market in the region and these officials want to shut it down. The administration wants that people should not make a living? We will protest if they close it down. We have met the Finance Secretary and will now meet the UT Adviser too,” Narang added.