Civic body reviving plan to build underground parking lots in city

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is contemplating afresh the idea of building underground parking lots in the city. Citing severe space crunch and an increasing number of vehicular density, the civic body is currently considering proposals to build one underground parking lot each in Bandra(West) and Vile Parle(West).

The civic body had, in 2011, scrapped the process of inviting bids from contractors to build underground parking lots, calling them financially unviable.

Both of the current proposals were first submitted by residents of the two areas, asking the BMC to make urgent provisions for parking. As per the first proposal, locals have asked the civic body to construct a parking lot beneath an open space, the Raosaheb Patwardhan garden, off Bandra Linking Road.

Activist Aftab Siddiqui, who presented the proposal, said: “This area has an entire shopping street, along with numerous malls and eateries. As a result, the streets here are perpetually clogged with vehicles parked in a zig-zag fashion. Since there is no open space here, we recommended an underground lot.”

The second parking lot is also proposed to be built under an open space, the Dhanjibhai Mehta ground, a BMC-owned park in Vile Parle (W). Hina Shroff, a member of the My Residents’ Association, an organisation of 50 citizen groups, said that congestion caused by vehicles from numerous educational institutes was the root of the problem in the locality.

“While we had put off the idea of having underground lots, we are now open to the idea, provided it is feasible. Hence, we are studying these proposals and will take a call on them, once our public-private partnership (PPP) cell, which is studying it, gives me their report,” said additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta.

Gupta said that according to earlier calculations, one parking slot cost more than Rs30 lakh in an underground lot. However, an official from the traffic division of the BMC’s roads department said that various options were being considered. “One option is to invite new tenders and stagger our payment to the contractor for a few years, so that the financial liability will be less.”


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