New parking at Punjab and Haryana HC: Process for environmental clearances starts
Before the construction of the multi-level parking in Punjab and Haryana high court begins, the UT administration has started the process of getting environmental and eco-sensitive clearances.
“The UT engineering department has floated tenders inviting firms to prepare an environment impact assessment study, which will be done for obtaining environmental clearance and eco-sensitive clearance from the ministry of environment,” said a department official.
The proposed parking site falls within the eco-sensitive zone around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary that was notified in 2017. It is also within the buffer zone of UNESCO World Heritage Site of Capitol Complex in Sector 1.
As per the layout submitted with the HC in January this year, three underground floors have been planned. In the first phase, the parking lot will have space for over 2,800 cars. In the second phase, installation of stacks has been proposed.
Parking could be expandable to 5,000 cars
With that, the parking could be expandable to over 5,000 cars. The ground-level will be a green area. Ramps for exit and entry of vehicles to the basement parking spaces will be the only construction on it. The tentative size of the proposed basement parking is 434 ft x 810 ft. The approximate covered area of one floor is 3.72 lakh sq ft and for three floors, it is 11.17 lakh sq ft.
At least 10,000 lawyers come to the HC daily and nearly 8,000 cars are brought by litigants and lawyers. But the HC has a parking space for only 800 cars.
On December 20, 2019, the HC had directed the UT administration to submit the layout for the multi-level underground parking lot, opposite the high court museum, within four weeks.
The HC directions had come after the administration official had submitted that the site fell within the eco-sensitive zone. The bench, however, was of the view that if parking couldn’t be constructed, how could a tourist information centre come up on the same site. It further observed that amendments could be made in the master plan, and questioned as to how a green belt could come under heritage status.