Even when proposals for construction of underground parking lots are being mooted for residential areas,one such parking lot constructed in Sector 40 is lying unutilised. The underground parking lot was constructed around three decades back under a park surrounded by houses. However,it now remains locked,though a large number of cars can be seen parked in the park that has virtually turned into a parking lot.
The underground parking lot is probably the only such facility in residential areas. The other underground parking lots are present in commercial areas in different sectors. The parking lot was built by the Chandigarh Housing Board while constructing more than 500 EWS and LIG houses in the area. The slots were to be sold to the residents who bought the houses as the space was not enough to construct garages or making any other provision for parking.
Not many residents showed interest in purchasing the space at that time. Gradually,the underground parking lot remained unutilised. Area councillor Gurbax Rawat said,The need of the hour is to bring some changes in the structure and make it conducive for parking of cars. There is a severe shortage of parking space in the residential area. Residents are parking their vehicles in spaces meant for park. A proposal would be sent to the Housing Board to transfer the parking lot to the civic body,or make some modifications. At present,the area is lying waste.
The proposals sent by the Municipal Corporation to the UT Architecture Department for approval of the community parking lots are on hold. The Architecture Department has suggested that the proposed community parking lots in residential areas should be underground. Otherwise it would eat into the green spaces.
Data recently released by the Census Department shows a sharp increase in the number of four-wheelers over the past one decade. From 15.4 per cent households having cars,jeeps and vans in 2001,the numbers stand at 25.7 per cent in 2011. This is leading to a shortage of parking spaces in the residential as well as commercial areas.
An official of the Engineering Wing of the Municipal Corporation said,Over the past few years,attempts have been made to increase parking spaces in residential areas. Paver blocks have been installed around parks where the residents can park. One community parking lot has been constructed. However,for the remaining,the Architecture Department has suggested that these should be constructed underground.
Architect and nominated councillor Surinder Bahga said there was a need to go underground where parking facilities were concerned,but the citys landscape should not be spoilt by constructing structures everywhere. I have visited the underground parking lots in different sectors. These lack proper maintenance. If maintained properly,they would solve the parking woes in the city, he added.