THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The car and scooter parking area opened by the Corporation in 2010 at Ulloor and closed soon after had offered no comfort to motorists, instead drained its coffers heavily.
The Corporation had spent Rs 19,90,752 for coming up with a parking area that none used and the land has now been set aside for the construction of a short stay home by the Corporation. The Local Fund Audit Report of the City Corporation for 2010-11 has stated that the construction of the parking area was undertaken at an estimate of Rs 11,59,174. The work included land filling the garbage filled area, setting up a counter room and painting.
A revised estimate of Rs 8,53,111 was cleared for the construction of a scooter parking area nearby. However, when the tender was placed for construction, only one company had attended the bidding. The Corporation Engineer had termed the work urgent and passed the tender, says the report.
The parking area was neither included as a project in the annual plan nor did it receive any approval from the technical committees or District Planning Committee. The construction had not get the approval of the Council either, but the officials had gone ahead with the plan with the consent of the then Mayor. It was six months after finishing the complete work that the construction got the approval from the Council. It got the technical nod after eight months.
In January, 2010, a private firm ‘ketco’ had taken up the running of the park through auction. However, without paying the deposit of Rs one lakh or penning an agreement with the Corporation, the company had run the parking area from March 23 to April 10 that year. However, with no vehicles taking notice of the parking area, the firm pressed the Corporation to take action. To no use. They abandoned the auction which further embarrassed the Corporation.
“The parking area had no takers because road side parking was allowed there. Who would park vehicles in an inner area when they could park it outside? Then the contractor runs into loss. This is what has been happening elsewhere too. Like in Gandhi Park and Palayam, people are unwilling to use the parking lot and want to safely slip their vehicles to some corner or to the sides of the main road,” said Deputy Mayor G Happykumar.
The Corporation in its budget for 2011-12 then set aside the land for setting up a short stay home, which has not materialised so far. The report says that the Corporation has drained its purse for a construction that neither solved parking issues nor helped the locals in any way.