Saying goodbye to Hall Road’s parking woes

LGCDD gives green light to construct motorcycle parking plaza, but not without 13-fold cost escalation

Imran Adnan December 19, 2017
From execution of the project to awarding the contract, the Lahore Parking Company officials would be consulted on the project, said DCO.

LAHORE: At a cost escalation of 13-fold, the Punjab government has finally decided to initiate the construction of a multi-storey motorcycle parking plaza at the busiest electronic markets of the city on Hall Road.

Punjab Local Government and Community Development Department (LGCDD) has given a green signal to the Metropolitan Corporation Lahore (MCL) to construct motorcycle parking plaza on Hall Road. It is being built at an estimated cost of Rs600 million. The project was originally proposed by the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) and Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Agency in 2012 at an estimated cost of Rs43.2 million.

To address parking issues in the city, the then district government had identified 18 locations which were later narrowed down to six by Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

These areas would have had new parking plazas to be built at an estimated cost of Rs2.34 billion.

The locations included Nela Gumbad, Delhi Gate, Shah Alam Gate, Lohari Gate, Mochi Gate, Masti Gate, Rang Mehal, Dyal Singh Mansion, Jail Road, Anarkali, Ichhra, Hall Road, Liberty Market, Railway Station, Hali Road, MM Alam Road, Model Town Link Road, Shadman, Naqi Market and Victoria Park on Mall Road.

However, with the exception of Liberty Market, the government failed to start construction of parking plazas in the city.

After assuming charge, the MCL presented a budget of Rs13.17 billion for financial year 2017-18, in which Rs600 million were earmarked for its first mega development project, a motorcycle parking plaza on Hall Road. Project proposal documents indicated the multi-storey parking plaza would have the capacity to accommodate 4,000 motorbikes and would dramatically resolve parking issues on Hall Road and adjoining streets.

The Lahore Parking Company (LePark), which is a subsidiary of the MCL, also forwarded various proposals for the construction of new parking plazas at Awain-e-Addal, Nilla Gumbad, Fane Road and Ittefaq Hospital, mostly on a build-own-transfer (BOT) model. However, all these projects were yet to get underway.

Hall Road is one of the busiest commercial hubs in the provincial capital near Mall Road. It is surrounded by buildings built by the British before Pakistan's independence in 1947.

The name of the road is based on the fact that the British had built four huge halls along the road, which hosted meetings and exhibitions, etc. Today those halls have been converted into commercial buildings and are the hub of Lahore's electronics, TVs, mobiles and computer sales.

At present, there exists on-street parking and the available space is insufficient to meet the huge influx of vehicles in the busy market. This ultimately results in haphazard parking, traffic chaos and public nuisance, especially during peak rush hours.

In addition to this, unplanned and ad hoc commercialisation had generated a large amount of parking demand in the locality, which was not envisaged before.

The unavailability of parking space has become a nuisance for the general public as traffic jams on main Hall Road were a common occurrence.

Documents showed the new parking plaza would not only cater to parking needs within the locality, but also mitigate illegal parking. The removal of illegal parking will reduce traffic congestion on Hall Road and generate revenue for the local government.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2017.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ