Srinagar’s multi-level car park fails to decongest the city as fares are high
The famous multi-level car park in downtown Lal Chowk, built to decongest the roads, is now deserted as people are reluctant to use the space for parking given its “high tariff”.
Opened in October this year, the parking lot with a capacity of more than 400 cars and 100 two-wheelers took nearly four years to complete, officials said.
Traders and commuters said The Walla of Kashmir that it was inconvenient for them to park their car there because “the rates are high”.
“I have an office near the parking lot,” said a local trader. “I am trying to find other places to park my car as I have to pay around 100 rupees a day if I park my car there. It goes up to three thousand rupees a month. Considering the loss suffered by the company over the past few years, how can one afford such an amount? »
The facility, near the press enclave, was constructed at a cost of over Rs 26 crore and is operated by the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA).
A manager, who works at the facility, said The Walla of Kashmir fewer cars were parked. The official added that “the number of parked cars remains at 60 and it hardly rises to 100 or 120″.
While giving details of the amount charged for parking a car, the manager said, “For the first hour the charge is Rs 20 and Rs 10 is added for each additional hour. If someone parks their car for a day, the charge is around 95 rupees.
A traffic police officer, stationed in the city center, said that on a daily basis they were trying to clear the roads but “people are reluctant to pay and use the parking lot”.
Dr Bashir Ahmad Lone, Vice President of the SDA, said The Walla of Kashmir that they have decided to provide service to the daily visitor at minimum rates.
“The monthly parking charge was Rs 2,000 and after representations from daily users, we decided to reduce the charge to Rs 1,650 per month,” Lone said.
He said a space will be reserved for people who subscribe a space on a monthly basis, and “will be allowed to enter multiple times and each time they wish to come and go, no additional cost will be incurred.”
The works on the said parking spot started in November 2017 and was completed in June 2021. According to an SDA official, the situation of prolonged uncertainty caused by the Covid19 pandemic in the valley has delayed its completion process.
The area of the facility is spread over 13 land channels while the maximum part of the land has been used for parking purposes. Five elevators have been constructed inside the building with the aim of providing comfort to people.
The Lal Chowk Business Center was facing a shortage of parking spaces until two parking facilities were developed which forced hundreds of vehicles to be stranded on the roadsides causing many problems for commuters and pedestrians. Despite two car parks that can accommodate more than 700 vehicles, the problems have hardly diminished.