September 1, 2019 3:02:45 am
Even as the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) plans to construct two new multi-level car parks (MLCP) in Gurgaon, an already existing structure in Sector 29 has barely any takers, with attendants saying less than 50 commuters park their cars there on weekdays, despite the establishment having the capacity to accommodate 995 four-wheelers.
Constructed at a cost of Rs 125 crore, the MLCP was opened to commuters in May last year. Apart from 995 cars, it also has parking space for 200 two-wheelers. While two basement floors, the second and third floors and the terrace are meant to park vehicles, the ground and first floors have been reserved for commercial purposes.
Despite the parking charges being as low as Rs 25 for parking cars for 6 hours, and Rs 15 for parking two-wheelers, the footfall remains low.
“On weekdays, there are 40-50 cars parked here through the day, with the figure rising to around 100 on weekends. The number of two-wheelers remains 5-6 per day through the week,” said a parking attendant.
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“Most people who park here are visitors at shops or showrooms on the ground floor. Only five-six people leave their vehicles here for longer durations,” he said.
In such a situation, attendant said some slots in the parking have been rented out to a ‘used car company’. Although officials from International Infrabuild Private Limited (IIPL), the operator of the facility, confirmed this, they added that “this has been done temporarily”.
Officials said the reasons range from lack of “awareness” that such a parking lot exists to the HUDA City Centre Metro station being 700 metres away.
Officials from the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) said IIPL has been directed to increase footfall through different measures.
“We are also not happy with the number of users at the facility, and have given notices to the operator to increase the numbers through advertisements, signboards and other measures. We have also asked them to arrange for golf carts that can provide last-mile connectivity and help people travel from the parking to their offices or the Metro station,” said Chander Shekhar Khare, administrator, HSVP.
“We do not want the facility to be used more for commercial purposes. The aim is to provide a place for regular commuters to park their vehicles,” he said.
An official from IIPL, however, insisted that the number of vehicles using the facility has increased in the last few months. Speaking of additional measures to promote the facility, he said, “These are not easy to adopt”.
“Advertising can only be done if the government policy allows us to do it at a low price or free of cost, otherwise it becomes too expensive. Golf carts are legally not allowed on roads, so that solution cannot be adopted. The only alternative is shuttles, but these too cost a lot of money to arrange,” said the official.
“Our website is operational, and there has also been a lot of traction through word of mouth. The footfall was low initially, but we worked on increasing it by sending representatives to offices in the area as well as the Huda City Centre Metro station to acquaint commuters with the facility,” he said.
Officials also added that several new retail outlets are expected to begin operating from the structure in the coming month, and “this is expected to increase footfall even further”.
MCG officials are hopeful that the two car parks being planned now will be better received, since they are located in areas that see high footfall and congestion — Kaman Sarai and Sadar Bazaar.
“The tenders for both projects have been floated, and we have called the parties that have quoted the lowest rates for negotiation. Once the negotiation process is complete, documents will be sent to the Haryana government for approval,” said Amit Sandilya, executive engineer, MCG.
“Once approval comes from the state, construction of the car parks will commence. However, this process of negotiation and approval itself could take a month or two.”
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