Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has set up the date to gift the metro, nation’s first underground computer-driven automatic parking facility at New Market beside Lindsay Street in the Central Business District of the city.
The hi-tech parking facility with a designer pedestrian plaza on the top would start operations from April 21. Buddha will inaugurate the underground parking complex sprawled over 40,000 sq feet on April 20.
A joint-venture project of Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Simplex Projects Ltd, the underground parking complex built with Dutch technology and inspired by international design will have two floors below the surface.
The first underground floor called “Minus One” would be 15 feet below the surface and would accommodate nearly 250 shops of retail giants. Spread of 40,000 sq feet, the shopping complex will have four entry points from the Pedestrian Plaza on the top floor.
The second underground floor called “Minus Two” is 30 feet below surface. Here the ground is covered with the blocks of palletes (trays) on which 270 cars would be parked at the same time. There are five lifts connected to the parking facility that would help to take up and bring down the cars inside the parking complex.
Once you reach the parking lobby, the driver is given a card that is matched with the details fed into the computer about the vehicle car to be parked inside. The card carries the number of the pallete on which the car would be stationed. And then it is taken down by the lift.
“ It is the first parking complex of its kind in the country. Here the parking is entirely driven by the computer and mechanical features. The parking belt moves like tectonic plates to take and bring the car to the lift at the time of entry and exit. For one hour we will be charging Rs 10 as parking fee. And the whole process of going down and bringing it up would be completed within 90 seconds,” said deputy General Manager (Commercial) Simplex Projects Ltd Gautam Dasgupta.
According to Gautam Dasgupta, the parking facility has been designed and conceptualised by a Dutch company EEW and Italian company Proviron. “Though based on western designs it has been made by our boys and it shows we can match the West in doing good things. Simplex will go down in history for creating this magnificent underground parking plaza in the city where the colonial architecture has blended with the latest structural designs of the West,” said VP Simplex Arup Chowdhury.
Apart from the underground shopping complex and the automatic parking facility, the Pedestrian Plaza on the top with a water body, podium and a sprawling walking plaza of 40,000 sq feet is also a delight for the eyes.
Designed by famous city architect Probir Mitra and drawn by his disciple Jyotirmoy Auddy, the Pedestrian Plaza gives a sense of space in the extremely congested New Market area of the city. “This plaza with its podium and sitting facilities would soon become a major adda spot of the city in the coming days,” believes Gautam Dasgupta.
Simplex has spent Rs 34 core to construct the parking complex. The shops are being sold for Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. To be operated on Built-Own-Transfer module, the Simplex would operate it for 20 years and then hand over the parking complex to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
“Municipal Corporation of Delhi top brass are so impressed with the work of art of the Simplex that they have appointed us as consultants for their 30-odd parking complexes in Delhi Metro. This has been a great learning experience for us The Dutch experts have rated it as excellent section of workmanship. In fact, the margin of error is less then few millimetres in the project,” claimed Gautam Dasgupta. (EOM)