The city government and the Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA) have revived plans for the construction of parking plazas in the city and sent a proposal to the chief minister for approval, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The proposal sent to the chief minister calls for the construction of six plazas, including one entirely underground and one for motorbikes, at a cost of Rs2.3431 billion.
The city government had sent a similar proposal to the chief minister last year, but it was never approved. Executive District Officer (EDO) for Municipal Services Muhammad Masood Tamanna said that the new proposal for six parking plazas included some of the same plazas suggested last year and some new ones. He said he did not know why the last year’s proposal had not been approved.
The city government feels that building parking plazas will ease some of the traffic congestion in Lahore caused by cars parking on the side of the road. The Punjab government built a parking plaza near Liberty Chowk in December 2010, at whose inauguration the chief minister pledged to build nine more plazas, but it has remained largely unused.
The city government and TEPA had identified 18 areas in Lahore where park and ride plazas could be built, and then narrowed the choice to six in the proposal sent to the chief minister.
These include a two-storey underground plaza at Neela Gumbad, to be built under the fountain, on an area of 14 kanals, six marlas and 200 square feet, at a cost of Rs600 million; a six-storey plaza, with two storeys underground, on six kanals next to a tonga stand outside Delhi Gate at a cost of Rs388 million; a seven-storey plaza with shops on eight kanals and six marlas at Shah Alam Gate, costing Rs627 million; a four-storey plaza with shops covering 14 kanals opposite Muslim Hotel Anarkali costing Rs604 million; a five-storey plaza on one kanal and 10 marlas at Ichhra costing Rs80.88 million; and a four-storey plaza only for motorbikes behind Zaitoon Plaza on Hall Road costing Rs43.2 million.
The other areas identified as potential sites for parking plazas were near the H Karim Bukhsh store in Liberty, at Mochi Gate, at Masti Gate, near the City Railway Station, near Chen One on Hali Road, at Lohari Gate, at the Doongi Ground on MM Alam Road (the property remains disputed), on Model Town Link Road, in Shadman opposite the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, behind Naqi Market and at Victoria Park on The Mall, behind the cinema at Rang Mehal, at Dyal Singh Mansion and near Sadiq Plaza on Jail Road.
Officials said that a Turkish company had made several visits to the city to look at how the parking system could be automated. The company would be made part of an independent company called the Lahore Parking Company, along the lines of the Lahore Waste Management Company.
EDO Tamanna said that the parking plazas to be built would be automated. He said that he did not know how they would be funded, as the proposal was at a very early stage.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2012.
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