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Multilevel parking or a commercial mall?

Proposed multilevel parking at Feroze Gandhi Market will accommodate only 250 vehicles,but will have four floors for commercial ventures

Written by Goyal Divya | Ludhiana | Published: August 27, 2013 5:47:03 am

Although it finds a mention in Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s ambitious ‘Mission Ludhiana’ worth Rs 2,500 crore,the proposed parking complex at Feroze Gandhi Market,to be built under the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT),shows how it may not help in solving the parking problem.

The documents of the proposal prepared by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for constructing a nine-floor complex reveal that the building will not be a parking lot but a commercial complex with four of its prime floors reserved for restaurants,showrooms and eateries. Not only this,the plan violates the original plan of the LIT,and the MC on its own has changed the location of the lot and is all set to encroach upon a pedestrian path for this construction.

Even if the complex comes up as per the MC’s plan,it will accommodate only 250 vehicles,the same number as four existing parking lots accommodate now. This,after spending crores on ‘automated multilevel parking’.

LIT’s two floors turned into 9 floors

AS per the LIT plan — Newsline has a map — it does not allow parking above surface level and gives permit only for ground level and one basement in the proposed complex and not multilevel parking. But the MC in its proposal has invited bids for nine-storey complex having two basements and seven floors which will further congest the market.

Original location shifted

THE LIT proposal marks area behind SCO 120-136 and behind Ludhiana Stock Exchange,a total stretch of 1,401 square metres for construction,but the MC violating the plan has shifted the location to the stretch between LSE and SCO 25-41,a total of 2,529 sq m.

MC ‘plans’ to encroach

NOT only the wrong location,but also the proposed 2,529 square metres are not meant for construction and 1,138 sq m are actually the walkways and pedestrian paths which the MC will be encroaching upon. This leaves an actual area of 1,391 sq m if footpaths are excluded. The MC has already made toilets on road and converted green belts into parking area at the market.

Premium floors for commercial purpose

THE money-making strategy of MC is exposed by the fact that the premium floors of the complex — upper basement,ground,first and second — have been ‘reserved’ for commercial activities like shopping,restaurants which will further raise the parking demand at the market but accommodation will be only for 250 vehicles.

Parking will be maintained and managed by the bidder for the whole period of 40 years,says the MC proposal. The civic body has also proposed that the same contractor will have to maintain already existing parking lots (three will be left) but first the traffic should be diverted towards the complex,and then old lots should be managed.

Double rates

IN its tentative rate list,the MC has doubled the rates for new complex parking. While at present,Rs 20 are taken for full day,then it will be Rs 20 upto 3 hours,Rs 30 for 3-6 hours and Rs 40 for 6-12 hours.

Caring two hoots about Master Plan

THE MC has also ignored the Master Plan of Ludhiana made by the Punjab government — Ludhiana Newsline has a copy of it — which says that the increase in height of SCOs and encroached footpaths have left pedestrians at the mercy of vehicles.

When contacted,Additional Commissioner Sumit Jarangal,who is heading the project,did not respond to phone calls.

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