Whenever a city resident plans a visit to sector 17 market, what stops him/her in the tracks is parking. The mere thought of navigating through a maze of vehicles, with no one to help or guide in all the 22 parking lots in sector 17 is reason enough for a person to change his mind, and head for some mall instead.
Though the municipal corporation is a stone’s throw away from this pedestrian’s paradise, it has failed to come up with any concrete solution to sort out the parking chaos. The Rs 50-crore multilevel parking that it inaugurated last year has turned out to be a white elephant with very few takers. With all the parking lots in the sector unmanned at present, chaotic scenes are commonplace.
Survey slams parking lots
A survey conducted by architect Surinder Bahga in Sector 17 last year blamed their under-utilisation on utter mismanagement. The survey discovered that 5,400 square metres of parking space, which can accommodate 170 cars, remains unused in the sector.
As per Chandigarh’s administration’s own estimate, the sector needs parking space for 5,400 cars, whereas the space available, including multilevel parking, can accommodate only 6,400 four-wheelers.
There are 22 parking lots, including underground lots, in Sector 17, but they are poorly managed and declared full much before they are packed due to haphazard parking of vehicles. As per the survey, at least 5,500 four-wheelers and 4,600 two-wheelers can be parked in sector 17.
Sector 17 has six taxi stands — one each in 17 A, B and D; and three in 17 E with a capacity of 40 cars each. If shifted elsewhere, for instance, in front of the Taj, these taxi stands can make way for 240 four-wheelers.
Sec 17 underground parking lot in a shambles
The three underground parking lots maintained by the civic body are in a dismal state. These include the single-level CMC parking, which can accommodate 400 two-wheelers; medical officer health parking with two levels, which can park 700 two-wheelers and 100 four-wheelers; and the BSNL parking lot with two levels and a capacity for 400 two-wheelers and 40 cars. The medical officer health parking is dotted with garbage and puddles of water in every corner with very few vehicles. This has been its lot for the past two decades. The BSNL underground parking lot is also under-utilised. The HT team found hardly any vehicles parked on one level, while only government vehicles were parked on the other level.
- Number of parking lots in sector 17 – 22
- Number of vehicles in sector daily – 5,500 four-wheelers and 4,600 two-wheelers
- Number of taxi stands in sector 17- 6 (need to be shifted so that this space can be utilised to accommodate at least 40 cars each)
50-crore multilevel parking no answer
Inaugurated with much fanfare in May last year, the MC’s 50-crore multilevel parking project in sector 17 has failed miserably. There were no takers for the lot during its first auction and the civic body failed to give the contract at a reserve price of 9 lakh for just two months. The MC assumed its management on August 9 last year after a three-month contract with a Gurgaon-based company.With only around 200 vehicles being parked here daily against its capacity of 900, the civic body has suffered a loss of nearly 50 lakh in these months. Even after running the operation on its own, the MC has failed to convince people to use this parking lot.
■ Single-level basement parkings can be built on both sides of Neelam Cinema and near the KC theatre to accommodate 1,500 more cars. Single-level parkings are more user-friendly, especially for the elderly and women.
■ Fully automatic model is recommended for more than one-storeyed underground parking.
■ The existing above-ground and basement parkings need to be better managed and redesigned.
■ Taxi stands can be shifted to sites with comparatively less visitors.
■ The extra cars of the seven-storeyed buildings on periphery of Sector 17 can be directed to bepark their back side wherever applicable.
■ Levy a charge of Rs 10 per hour for parking four-wheelers at Sahib Singh and Empire Store parking lots near the showrooms; charge Rs 5 per hour at multi-level parking lots around 500m from the showrooms
■ Make the multi-level parking free for three months to ensure that residents understand its benefits.
(SECOND OF SEVEN-PART SERIES, TOMORROW:BUSINESS BLUES)