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Parking the problem, driving home solution

About 900 new vehicles hit Delhi roads every day. The city’s parking capacity is not rising at the same rate.

delhi Updated: Nov 14, 2009 00:23 IST
Neelam Pandey

About 900 new vehicles hit Delhi roads every day. The city’s parking capacity is not rising at the same rate.

While there has been a steep reduction in the number of conventional parking lots, civic agencies have failed to complete several multi-level parking projects.

So, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) decision to build a puzzle parking that not only optimises space but is also cheaper compared to multi-level and conventional ramp parking lots, couldn't have come at a more appropriate time.

These parking lots will come up in the busy markets of Karol Bagh (for 300 cars) and Paharganj (for 500 cars) to begin with. Depending on their success, the civic agency claims it will build more.

Puzzle parking lots use a system in which cars can be moved vertically or horizontally with power hydraulic lifts.

“Puzzle parking is an advanced version of stack parking and it helps save a lot of space. Compared to a conventional multi-level parking which requires 25 square meters per vehicle, puzzle parking will come up on half the space,” said P. K. Sarkar, head of department, Department of Transport Planning, School of Architecture and Planning.

The civic agency currently maintains 143 surface parking lots that can accommodate only 15,000 vehicles at a given point of time.

Requiring minimum human interference, such parking lots are safe for people to use since they do not need to enter the parking lot, Sarkar said.

“In any multi-level parking, drivers have to drive inside the parking lot and then walk out,” Sarkar said.

“This is not safe and can result in accidents too. In puzzle parking drivers can simply hand over the keys to the attendant and does have to enter the parking lot as it is mechanically operated.”

Creating such parking lots is a better option than constructing parking lots underneath parks.

“Green cover should not be interfered with as the park can never be reconstructed to its original position,” said Abhilasha Mathur, a resident of Shalimar Bagh who through a public interest litigation, has been opposing the move to create parking lot underneath a park in their locality.

“They should explore such new technologies which will minimise space too.”

These parking lots will help save a lot of money too.

“A conventional ramp parking lot requires Rs 4 lakh per car as the construction cost. A fully automated multi-level parking lot requires Rs 9 lakh per car and puzzle parking will require Rs 2-3 lakh per car,” said a senior MCD official.

The operation cost is one of the worry for such parking lots as they run on electricity. To counter this, MCD has floated a tender to select a firm. “One who will quote the lowest, will be considered,” the official said.