Zoo Road multi-level automated car parking fails to attract users, GMDA blames public

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Zoo Road multi-level automated car parking fails to attract users, GMDA blames public

Yukti Jain | June 22, 2019 13:27 hrs

GUWAHATI: The multi-level automated car parking facility situated in the middle of the city’s Zoo Road area continues to wear a deserted look as people are unwilling to park their cars inside the facility.

The facility, which is located near Sraddhanjali Kanan on RG Baruah Road, is the first multi-level automated car parking facility not only in Assam but also in northeast.

Built with an investment of Rs 14.38 crores, the parking facility can accommodate 302 four-wheeler vehicles and 25 two-wheeler vehicles at a time.

However, nearly after two years of its inauguration, the facility is hardly being used by the local public.
 
Reality check

According to Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) which undertook the project of building the parking facility, people do not want to change their lifestyle by welcoming a high-level facility. 
 
Speaking to G Plus, GMDA CEO Moloy Bora said, “People are not using the facility maybe because they are not accustomed to such a high-level technological facility. People are very well settled in their own lifestyles and are unwilling to bring a change in that. Another reason might be that the people haven’t gained much confidence in such a system yet.”

Bora also feels that it is high time that the residents should become inclined towards such facilities and show some more sympathy towards their beloved city, Guwahati.

It’s worth mentioning that the automated parking was constructed to ease the horrendous traffic snarls of the city and the locality in particular. The city otherwise has very little scope for systematic and well-managed parking spaces.  
 
In most of the areas, people are seen parking their vehicles haphazardly on the roadsides.

An official from GMDA told G Plus, “People prefer manually operated facilities rather than such technology because they have an opinion that it's their car and they will park it as and where they wish to. In an automated facility, you have to hand over the car key to the operators, who will then lift the car to a certain level. In order to take out the car, you have to come and again ask for your keys and wait for the system to bring the car down. People have also been appointed to look after the vehicles; back-ups are in plan if there is any electrical outage.  But people are still unwilling to use such facilities. This kind of attitude slows and de-motivates the work of the department.”

The official also noted that people should not mind paying a small amount of money while parking their cars. 
The automated car parking near Sraddhanjali Kanan charges Rs 15 per hour for four-wheeler vehicles and Rs 5 per hour for two-wheelers.

Another automated multilevel car parking facility is coming up at Panbazar area. According to GMDA, it will take another three months to start the balance work on the facility, which will be situated adjacent to Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital, Panbazar.

To be constructed with a government fund of Rs 11 crore, the facility will be capable of accommodating 250 four-wheeler vehicles at a time.

New plans

Despite the not-so-welcoming attitude of the people towards the existing multi-level car parking spaces, GMDA is planning to develop new parking spaces across the city.

Discussions are on to identify lands for new parking spaces in various places including Dispur and Panbazar.
    
GMDA is planning to build a parking lot on the ground that is currently lying vacant in front of the Assam Secretariat in Dispur, which was earlier used by Dispur treasury and police stations.

In addition, GMDA was planning to use the land near Panbazar Textbook Compound for parking purposes, but eventually had to give the land away to its owners, Assam Textbook Corporation, after GMDA failed to utilize it.

Discussions are also underway to introduce an initiative where used lands owned by private parties can be taken on lease for construction of parking spaces. 
 
The GMDA official said, “This ambitious initiative is at a very early stage. If it materialises, we will look for lands that are situated on the main roads for the better use and convenience of the people. However, we are yet to make a proposal on that front.” 

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