NEW DELHI: Originally planned as Delhi’s first multi-level automated parking lot eight years ago, work on the Kamla Nagar site is yet to be completed. Supposed to have been ready by October 2010 for the CWG, work at the site began only in March 2010. In the mean time, an automated parking lot at Sarojini Nagar, planned much later, has become operational.
Sources at SMS Infrastructure who are executing the Kamla Nagar project, say, since it was a first of its kind, it took over two years to get clearances from all 15 departments, including forest, environment, fire and electricity. Originally a park, trees and shrubs had to be removed from the site, in addition to readjustment of water pipes and electric cables, before excavation for the parking lot could commence. With seven underground levels, the facility will accommodate around 925 vehicles, and is being built at an estimated `160 crore. The ground and first floors will be used for shops.
“We’ll be using small motorised platforms which will go under a vehicle, place it on a lift and take it to different floors for parking, where, another platform will lift the car and place it in an empty slot. This automated system, successfully deployed around the world, has a retrieval time of no more than 2-3 minutes,” said Sandeep Verma, CMD of VSK Infrastructure, the architecture firm for the project.
Carving out parking space in congested markets is an unenviable task, and years of delay in implementation has only made it tougher for the MCD. Similar lots at GK-I M-Block and South Extension have been cleared years ago, but work is yet to begin, despite tenders being awarded for both. They will be made on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis, with MCD leasing the site to a contractor for 35 years.
At South Ex, the tender for three parking lots (500 vehicles each) has gone to Chennai-based Consolidated Construction Consortium Ltd. (CCCL). The project cost is around `208 crore. Two multi-level lots have been proposed for South Ex-II and one for South Ex-I. Trader associations of both markets have opposed the choice of sites, as they are located in parks in the middle of the u-shaped markets. “They will block the facade of our shops. Why should we allow a mall to come up in front of our shops. An underground Metro station will also be opened there. Where’s the space for both?” says Capt. K P Malhotra, president of South Ex-II traders’ association. South Ex-I shopowners have also opposed the commercial floors outside their shops. A DMRC spokesman said the South Ex station was to come up soon. “Talks are on with MCD, as entry and exit points have to be coordinated for use by both facilities.” An MCD official assured they had got clearances from DDA and other authorities for the site. A CCCL official said it was for MCD to sort out issues with shopkeepers. They were there simply to execute the project.
At GK-I M-Block market, traders’ association president Rajender Sharda, said he had got an assurance that the commercial complex will house offices, not shops. “We met MCD Standing Committee Chairman Yogender Chandolia last October, and he assured us the commercial space will house offices,” said Sharda. An official of the executing agency, DSC Limited, says they are currently trying to get clearances for the site. An electricity transformer, a toilet complex and water pipelines will have to be shifted before any work can begin on the `150 crore project for around 1,200 vehicles.