Much Hyped Parking Space Near Press Colony Fails To Decongest City

By Syed Burhan

SRINAGAR- The much famed multi-level car parking in the city centre Lal chowk has failed to decongest the roads as the space remains almost deserted.
According to shopkeepers, the people don't prefer to use the space for parking due to high rates.
Thrown open in October 2021, the car parking with capacity of over 467 vehicles and 130 two-wheelers took nearly four years to complete, as per officials.
The traders of the area are up in arms against authorities saying the charges for the parking are high and the parking operates for a limited time period during the day.
Javaid Ahmad, a shopkeeper, told Kashmir Observer that parking charges are very high and authorities failed to resolve the issue.
“You have to pay Rs 20 for an hour if you park your four wheeler and the rate increases by 10 rupees every hour. This is too much for an ordinary person. Authorities should consider decreasing the rates”. he said.
Waseem Khan, another shopkeeper voiced his concern over the limited time the parking operates.
“The authorities should extend the time and instead of charging on an hourly basis, they should charge for a day”. he said.

The parking is regulated and managed by Srinagar Development Authority (SDA).Speaking to Kashmir Observer; Vice- Chairman SDA said the hundreds of vehicles are parked by people throughout the day.
“At first we had fixed the charges for a four wheeler at 2000 rupees per month. Later we reduced the rates to 1650 rupees. We are not asking for too much. The parking is being managed by at least 13 employees; we have to manage the income of the employees as well”. he told Kashmir Observer.

The SDA had constructed the first of its kind Multi-level in Srinagar to help People Park wisely and decongest the city centre. Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha had inaugurated the car parking at press enclave Srinagar in the month of October. The work on the said parking slot was taken up in November 2017 and was completed in June 2021.
The parking was constructed at a cost of 26.92 crores under the centrally sponsored Atal Mission for rejuvenation and urban transformation (AMRUT) scheme.

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