The automatic multi-level parking lot planned near Kasturba Gandhi Marg will not solve the congestion problem, experts have said.
The Right To Clean Air Team at the Centre for Science and Environment carried out an extensive survey of the Sarojini Nagar multi-level car park. The assessment exposed serious gaffes and barriers. The illusion that the multi-level car parks will solve all ills and remove cars from the roadside and free road space as well as surface areas has turned out to be a myth.
The review has brought out very clearly that the structure has been created with no clear idea about what it is expected to achieve. Instead of solving the problem, it has added to the chaos.
“An integrated mechanism will ensure optimum utilisation of space and avoid on-street parking by treating both multi-level and surface lots at a particular location as one facility,” said an expert.
Situated at a large vacant plot of land between the high rises of Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Barakhamba Road, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has been propagating the multi-level parking project as “much needed” to ease the traffic and parking problem of the business district. “The biggest lesson from the Sarojini Nagar experience is that multi-level parking cannot be constructed in policy vacume. At one level there is need to restrict their construction to free up land for other competing uses,” said another expert.
As per NDMC’s original proposal it would be executed on BOT basis under the public private partnership (PPP) model allowing the private concessionaire commercial use of partial space. The parking area would hold approximately 1,500-1,600 cars while an area of about 6,000-odd sq metres space above ground would be developed commercial space.
In 2010, work for the project was stopped by the Archaeological Survey of India as the site fell in the regulated area (100-300 metres) of the protected monument Agrasen Ki Baoli, off Hailey Road. It also meant that the proposal needed clearance from the National Monument Authority (NMA).
After delay of almost three years, the NMA in February cleared the project putting a height restriction of 21 metres for the commercial wing and allowing the parking block building to go up to 38 metres, as applied for.