Multi-Storey parking project in limbo

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6 years on ‘apathetic’ JDA fails to commence work

Nagender Jamwal

 

Even after the passage of more than six long years, the much awaited multi parking complex at General Bus Stand Jammu is yet to face more delays, as the ‘apathetic’ executing agency—Jammu Development Authority (JDA) has failed to commence the work.

While the work on the proposed project is waiting start, two chief ministers have already laid the foundation stone of the same, but the project remained non starter.

Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed and his deputy Dr Nirmal Singh laid the foundation stone for the project in October 2015, almost a year after then CM Omar Abdullah did so on September 2, 2014.

To be executed by the Jammu Development Authority, the project, which includes construction of a parking facility for 1,300 buses and cars and modernisation of the bus stand, is pegged at Rs 201.68 crore, from the Rs 131 crore initially.

With the cost of the project escalating each passing month, the executing agency seems less interested in taking care of government exchequer.

The project which remained mired with number of controversies from opposition from market association to shifting of transport to some other place, the executing agency remained mute spectator to all the events.

Talking to Newspoint, Ashok Kapoor- Superintendent Engineer JDA said, “We have given the task of completion to Tata Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Private Limited with the estimate cost of Rs. 201.68 crore. The project is delayed due to two prime reasons,” he added, “First to shift 75 shopkeepers to Narwal Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT) and second to shift buses at some idle parking, which has been constructed and they would be shifted by the end of this month”.

He further said that passengers would be provided pick and drop facility from General Bus Stand till the completion of the project.

Elaborating the parking benefits, Kapoor said that the ground floor of the six-storey building would provide parking space for about 80 buses. The first, second and third floors would have a capacity to accommodate 1,312 cars, plus 177 two-wheelers, while as the fourth and fifth floors would house shopping malls, food courts, restaurants and  washrooms, besides having an air-conditioned ticket booking office and waiting hall.

There would be 10 lifts plus two escalators for the customers and visitors, Raghunath Bazaar footbridge would be connected to this building for pilgrims who visit Raghunath temple for paying obeisance and for visiting city areas.

Parking floors would be connected with bridges towards roads.

Meanwhile, Vice-Chairman, JDA, Mubarak Singh said, “The project, coming up at an estimated cost of Rs. 201.68 crore, would go a long way in reducing the traffic congestion and provide adequate parking space for the vehicles in the heart of Jammu city,” adding some more parkings will be built in the old city area, for which process has been started.

However, the state government has no stakes in this project and is being sponsored by centre and the amount to be generated by the JDA.

“The central government has sanctioned 75 crores, while as JDA has to manage rest of the amount by itself, as the state government is not providing any money for this project,” said JDA official, adding estimated 127 crores amount will generated from the allotment of shops in this building.

The parking facility will greatly ease traffic congestion on busy sections near Kanak Mandi, Old Hospital Road and Raghunath Bazaar and this will be the first big multi-tier parking project which has been launched in the states winter capital so far.

Nearly five lakh vehicles are on roads and there is no enough parking space created by the government body, which earns a huge amount from commercial ventures. Now it will be a more complex problem as the agency has little land left within the city after giving land for commercial buildings,” said sources.

 

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