Two months after it got a conditional clearance, the fate of the Kasturba Gandhi Marg multi-level parking project remains uncertain.
The reason being: the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) now wants a re-think on the height restriction.
The decision of the National Monument Authority (NMA) for ‘reconsidering’ the project is likely to set a trend as the NMA has been putting height restrictions for several other public infrastructure projects too.
NMA’s earlier clearance for the KG Marg parking project -- in February -- had come almost three years after work for it was stopped by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in April 2010 after an amendment in the archaeological act. The parking site falls in the regulated area of a protected step well, Agrasen Ki Baoli, off Hailey Road and the new construction needed clearance from the NMA.
It had given approval for the multi-level parking project but put a height restriction of 21 metres for the commercial wing and allowed the parking block building to go up to 38 metres, as applied for.
The NDMC had allotted work for it under the public private partnership (PPP) model to a private concessionaire. “How does it matter if we build one building tall and the other smaller? How does it matter, whether we use the building as a parking lot or a commercial office space,” asked OP Mishra, NDMC’s director (project department).
Sources said the project was allotted under the PPP model. So for the bidder, it would be an economically viable business model only with the earlier planned FSI.
Vishwa Mohan, competent authority for Delhi, said: “Earlier also we had recommended 38 metres for both the blocks of the project. We have now forwarded NDMC application considering it is a public project.”
However, there is no NMA decision as yet. “There has been no discussion. We will have to consider it in view of the larger implications,” said Pravin Srivastava, member secretary, NMA.