The State’s first semi-automatic multi-level car parking facility recently inaugurated by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti would greatly help in decongesting the commercial centre of Lal Chowk. The hi- tech car parking constructed at a cost of Rs 27.15 crore consists of five levels to accommodate 288 light motor vehicles and would provide much-needed parking facility at the vital city centre.
Constructed by JKERA under Jammu and Kashmir Urban Sector Development Investment Programme (JKUSDIP) the parking facility was funded by Asian Development Bank. The facility comprises of four bays in five levels with each having parking space for 72 light motor vehicles. The facility is spread over an area of 1545 sqm which also includes three storied commercial complexes comprising of office space and public toilet.
The parking facility will have an entry from Maulana Azad Road and exit from exchange road. The facility provides easy and safe parking for vehicle owners who are required to only put their vehicle over the automated pellet and vehicle will automatically be placed in the available vacant parking slot. Similarly the vehicle will be retrieved back from the slot and placed at the automated pellet. The whole process takes two to two and half minutes. The process takes place with the help of imported Human Interface Device (HID) called Programmed Logic Control Unit (PLC) which is operated by trained engineers and technicians of a private company. The private company will operate the parking facility for the period of three years as per provisions of the contract and will simultaneously train and build capacities of personnel from SDA (Srinagar Development Authority) who will operate the facility after expiry of operation and maintenance period with the contractor.
The facility has already started showing its positive results by easing traffic and parking in the congested city center. According to an SDA official, 50 percent discount price is being offered for the parking till Eid-ul-Fitr.
“The actual parking charges at this facility are Rs 20 for first hour and Rs 10 for each following hour, but at present we are offering 50 per cent discount and will charge Rs 10 for first hour and Rs 5 for each following hour,” the official said.
“We are also planning to start payment on monthly basis but our auction committee will need to take a decision on that. During Ramadhan the parking is operational between 9 am to 9 pm and after Eid it will be operational between 7 am 11 pm, said an official.
Expressing their satisfaction the vehicle owners said that now they are not afraid of car theft or any kind of damage to their vehicle.
Commuters are also hailing Government for developing first kind of mechanized car parking and said that such type of car parking should be developed in other towns also.