The proposed multi-level parking lot at Parade Ground, billed as the only solution to the parking and traffic chaos of the Walled City, seems to have hit a roadblock.
According to sources, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has now raised objections to the site, considering its proximity to various heritage structures in the area, especially the Red Fort.
After a delay of over four years, the Municipal Corporation of Delay (MCD) had finally begun work on the parking lot on Tuesday.
However, the ASI has now directed it to stop work with immediate effect.
ASI Delhi Circle chief K K Muhammed confirmed, “The parking site falls within 300 metres of Red Fort, an ASI protected monument and also a World Heritage Site, there we issued a notice to them today.”
The civic agency, however, said it is yet to receive a written communication or a formal order from the ASI.
“We are yet to receive formal directions from the ASI. Once they get in touch with us we will examine the problem,” said Deep Mathur, director, Press and Information, MCD.
“The Parade Ground parking lot is an important project. So, we will try to resolve all problems; once the ASI is satisfied, we will continue with the work,” he added.
The civic agency’s Rs 50 crore multi-level under-ground car parking, which will accommodate 700 vehicles, will provide a permanent solution to parking woes in the Walled City.
“The construction work will be executed on a built-operate-transfer (BOT) basis and the maintenance cost will be recovered from parking and conversion charges,” said a senior MCD official.
The MCD had zeroed in on the Parade Ground after an underground multi-level parking facility at Shaheed Park hit a roadblock with the ASI.
The ASI had denied permission to the civic body for the project on the ground that it was within 100 metres of two Centrally-protected monuments, the Khooni Darwaza and Ferozeshah Kotla ruins.
Earlier last month, the new spot at Parade Ground too had run into trouble after the ‘Shri Dharmik Ramlila Committee’ raised concerns saying that it will disrupt the Ramlila functions.
The matter was finally resolved after MCD convinced them that since the parking will be underground, it will not disrupt any activity at the ground level.