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Parking facilities still a pipe dream

Parking woes of city residents won’t see a respite anytime soon as the proposed projects to set up multilevel facilities are still nowhere close to completion

Published: 03rd December 2021 06:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2021 06:57 AM   |  A+A-

A scene from near Central Stadium near the heart of the city, where cars have been parked along the road in long lines. Lack of parking facilities has been a pressing issue for a while now| BP Deepu

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It has been over two years since multilevel car parking facilities were proposed at Putharikandam Maidan and Medical College Hospital (MCH) under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme. With the deadline for utilisation of funds under AMRUT fast approaching, the civic body is on its toes to find a way to somehow complete the project. 

Deputy mayor and works standing committee chairman D R Anil said the civic body has decided to scrap the current contract awarded for the projects. 

“We tendered and awarded both projects. Owing to the pandemic and lockdowns, the contractors couldn’t start the work. It’s been nearly two years and now the cost of steel has gone up exponentially and they cannot undertake the work as per the current estimates. 

There is no way before us as  AMRUT cannot grant more funds without clearance from the state government. Hence, we have decided to scrap the contracts and take fresh estimates to implement the project,” said Anil.  

The civic body is planning to invite fresh tenders with new estimates soon. However, the delay in getting the clearance from the state government is likely to further delay the project and might lead to lapsing of AMRUT funds, the deadline of which would end in March 2022. “We cannot invite fresh tender without getting the clearance. We hope the government gives the nod soon to avoid further delay,” said a senior official of the engineering wing.  The project at Putharikandam is expected to cost `12 crore and would be the largest parking facility that can offer parking space for 210 cars and 240 two-wheelers. 

“Some of the mandatory components of MLCP were missing in the old estimates. Fire safety features are a mandatory component and without these, we will not get the NoC from the fire department to operate these facilities,” said the official. 

The project to set up a facility at MCH was also launched nearly two years back. The plan was to set up the facility in the land in front of the super speciality block. 

Unauthorised parking fee collection continues 

Complaints are mounting regarding collection of huge parking fees at malls, hospitals and other commercial establishments in the capital. According to officials, the collection of parking fees for using statutory parking spaces at shops, malls and hospitals is against the Kerala Municipal Act. However, despite complaints, the civic body is yet to take any solid action. Some of the malls and other trade establishments are imposing huge user fees on customers.  

“It’s illegal to collect parking fees in statutory parking areas at commercial establishments and if a trade organisation is providing a private parking area other than the statutory parking space, it should get a licence from the civic body,” said a top corporation official.  Recently, the civic body issued licenses to around 15 establishments. “It’s not practical to bring in a unified parking fee. In the core area of the city, the parking fee could be more as compared to other areas,” the official added.  

Deputy mayor and works standing committee chairman D R Anil said the civic body has noticed the issue. He admitted that people are getting fleeced in the name of user fee and the civic body would be taking adequate intervention to prevent such violations.  He said that the civic body is in the process of drawing up a bylaw.  



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