The solution to south Delhi's parking woes may be right beneath its parks. The south Delhi municipal corporation (SDMC) is working on a plan to build parking lots under public gardens in around 10 colonies.
"We are identifying parks in colonies where multilevel parking lots can be built. We're looking at places such as Greater Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, Janakpuri, Malviya Nagar, Safdarjung and Jangpura where there's space crunch and cars are parked in the middle of roads," said Ashish Sood, chairman, remunerative project cell, SDMC.However, the SDMC would need clearance from environment pollution control authority (EPCA) and the local residents' welfare association (RWA).
"The unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) also came up with such plan. That time, we had told them to complete a project successfully and restore the park, after which underground parking at other parks would be allowed. But they failed to do so. We want to ensure the green area is not damaged," said Bhure Lal, chairman, EPCA.
The south civic body claims all parks will be restored this time. "We need to address the parking problem as early as possible. There's no better option than building parking lots under parks. We'll restore park just like the Metro has done at several place," Sood said.
Residents are game for the innovative project. "I have to park my car around half a kilometre away from my house, that too at an unsafe location. An underground parking facility will decongest roads and our cars will also be parked safely," said Bharat Chaudhary, a resident of Lajpat Nagar-4.
These parking lots would be built according to the BOT model where a private builder will be awarded the project through bidding and will operate it for a fixed duration.
"We don't have enough funds to create all this on our own, so a private contractor who will undertake this project and get revenues by charging nominal parking fee will be roped in," Sood added.