Gariahat Junction automated parking lot fights for takers

A multi-level automated car park in Gariahat struggles to find people willing to park their cars there and an agency to operate it.

The reason, according to officials of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), is the higher parking rate at the facility.

While the rate for roadside parking is Rs 10 per hour for four-wheelers and Rs 5 per hour for two-wheelers, in the automated facility the rate is Rs 35 an hour for cars and Rs 11 an hour for two-wheelers.

As a result, KMC officials said, about half of the parking spaces still remain vacant, while nearby roads have cars parked on two lines. The multi-level facility has 30 locations.

The KMC rents all the parking spaces in the city that it owns from agencies to manage them. Agencies collect parking fees from car owners and drivers and must pay a fixed amount to the civic body.

The KMC has managed the Gariahat automated parking lot since its inauguration in March 2020, just days before the Covid-19 pandemic forced a lockdown across the country.

Now the civic body is struggling to get an agency to run the facility.

The KMC has issued calls for tenders on three occasions inviting interested agencies to operate the facility. No one had responded to the first call for tenders, while only one agency showed interest after the launch of the second call for tenders.

The rules prohibit awarding a contract if there is only one bidder.

The civic organization again posted an ad soliciting bids to operate the facility.

“We are unable to understand why no one is interested in operating the Gariahat automated facility. We have launched a third call for tenders. Any interested agency that has the resources to manage a car park can submit an offer. These are not necessarily agencies that manage parking spaces in other parts of Calcutta, ”said an official from the civic body.

“Gariahat’s automated installation is barely full. There are several vacancies at the facility, while owners double-park cars on area roads. It seems that the difference in parking rates is the reason car owners prefer to park on the road, where the rates are much lower, ”said the KMC official.

In addition to the installation of Gariahat, the city has two automated multi-level car parks. One of them, an underground facility in the Simpark shopping center in New Market, does not belong to the KMC.

The third installation, on rue Rawdon, belongs to the KMC.

The Rawdon Street parking lot has 105 spots, a KMC official said.

The rates at the facilities on Gariahat and Rawdon streets are the same, the official said. But the installation on Rawdon Street hardly remains empty.

The KMC official said there were businesses in and around Rawdon Street that park many of their cars at the facility.

On the other hand, most of the cars parked on the Gariahat site belong to individuals.

There are no plans to cut tariffs in the automated installation, KMC officials said. The costs of installing and operating such a parking lot are much higher than those of a parking lot along a road.


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