Ask any marketer and he’ll tell you that a pair of hot wheels is among the first purchases that new money heads for, especially if the windfall comes from a spurt in real estate prices. So, with land prices in the 29 villages brought within municipal limits registering significant hikes, observers expect automobile sales to rev up.
"The book value of land (in the 29 villages) has gone up by 15-20 per cent," said Indore Property Brokers’ Association president Rajendra Bhaiyya. The association head, however, said it would take time and availability of infrastructure for the increase in book value to translate into real gains. He cited Bicholi Hapsi, Bicholi Mardana, Tillor Khurd and Tigaria Badshah as places where real estate prices had made the most appreciable gains.
While that may be good news for automobile retailers it could pose a major headache for parking-starved vehicle owners. "There were around 15 lakh registered vehicles in Indore district as of January 1, 2014 of which nearly 1.34 lakh were cars," said activist Kishore Kodwani, who has filed a petition against the mismanagement of the Bus Rapid Transit System.
Needless to say, parking space is grossly insufficient for the number of vehicles.
All of which brings us to the Indore Municipal Corporation’s ambitious, and long-delayed, project to solve the knotty problem of insufficient space for stationing vehicles — multi-level parking lots.
The JNNURM sanctioned the construction of 19 lots on a public-private participation (PPP) basis at a cost of Rs 56 crore. Since 2009, when the Mission gave its nod, the number of multi-level parking lot sites has been whittled down to seven. Five years on, only four lots - Premsukh Talkies, Bajajkhana Chowk, Shivaji Market and Indore Press Club - are operational. The three remaining lots, incidentally, are to come up in and around Vijay Nagar - an area where on-road parking frequently causes bottlenecks and traffic jams.
"Eighty per cent work is complete at two sites, behind Raghunath Petrol Pump and near Sathya Sai School, Scheme No 54 while physical progress at a third site, near Fortune Landmark, stood at around 75 per cent," said IMC JNNURM cell official Ashwin Janwade. The Corporation is funding the under-construction lots through internally generated resources after it failed to find PPP concessionaires for the three sites.
Janwade said progress was held up due to lack of land as well as delay in release of instalments by the Centre and, to a certain extent, the state government.