Will authorities ever deliver?

Promised car lots four decades ago, city still looking out for the day to come around

Will authorities ever deliver?

SMART CITY? Haphazard parking at Telephone Exchange in Amritsar on Friday. Photo: Sunil Kumar

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, JANUARY 22

The demand for more parking lots in the walled city is more than four decades old yet its delivery remains extremely slow.

Ambitious Smart City project raised hope for the establishment of more parking lots but the actual delivery time is agonisingly slow. The Amritsar Smart City Limited (ASCL) had chalked out a plan to raise a multi-level car parking at the Khairon market years ago. Even delay in the execution of the plan led to cost escalation yet the project is yet to take off.

The city has only a couple to accommodate thousands of vehicles. A large number of tourists visit the city in their private vehicles every day. The Saragarhi car parking is the only major facility for tourists.

Haphazard parking is seen in various parts of the city. Markets such as Katra Jaimal Singh, Hall Bazar, Cheel Mandi Ram Bagh, Katra Baghian and Telephone Exchange witnesses traffic jams due to inadequate parking arrangements.

Raj Kumar Aggarwal, an architect, says, “The Shastri Market Association had planned the parking lots at Khairon market and at Telephone Exchange way back in 1983-84. “

In a communique to Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu, he stated that then it was decided that the Market Association and the Municipal Corporation Association (MCA) would share 50 per cent of cost between them. However, successive governments did not implement the plan. Aggarwal was entrusted with the job of designing and supervision.

He anticipated that these parking lots would provide relief to people from haphazard parking congestion on roads as traders and visitors would have a safe and hassle-free space to park their vehicles.

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