Underground car parks for SoBo

Security of vital installations will be top priority when the BMC will set up seven underground multi-level parking facilities in South Mumbai in the next year and a half. The project plan, approved by the civic standing committee on Monday, puts special emphasis on sensitive locations in the vicinity—Mumbai Police HQ and Chhatrapti Shivaji Terminus—which may face a security threat because of development of these lots. To cut down the possibility of a terror strike, the BMC has minimised the possibility of any human interface by making the lots fully-automated from the point of entry to exit. No commercial activity will be allowed around these sites. “The project sites are in a sensitive zone. Any increase in commercial activity or human movement will endanger security of vital locations in the vicinity,’’ reads the project’s feasibility report prepared by Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC). However, it is still unclear which party will take home the parking fee. “We are likely to hike parking charges, and thereafter, ensure that revenue comes into our kitty,’’ reveals a senior BMC official. Members of the standing committee, while unanimously agreeing that these facilities— one each near Crawford Market, JJ flyover and Eros cinema, two at MG Road and the rest at K Dubhash junction Shyama Prasad Chowk—will increase parking capacity to 1,400 from the existing 400, alleged that guidelines were being twisted to favour a certain section of contractors. The revenue model of the project still remains ambiguous, members said. “Offering a firm Rs 444 crore to develop and maintain these lots, along with the right to pocket revenue from them for 30 years somehow does not make sense. Moreover the BMC proposal doesn’t clarify who gets the collection from parking fee,’’ says south Mumbai corporator Vinod Shekhar. As per the UMTC’s PPP model, the company that provides the technology will maintain the lot and the one that constructs will take home revenue from parking fee for 30 years, after which the sites will be handed over to the BMC free of cost. The Rs 444 crore project was awarded to consortium of city-based Venue Infrastructure Ltd and German Woehr Parking Systems under a public private partnership (PPP) model. “Maintenance and electricity charges will be quite high. To make up for that, we will have to pocket revenue from parking fee,’’ says Sandeep Kulkarni of Woehr.

No of underground parking lots planned: 7

Will be ready in 1.5 years

Project firm: Consortium of Venue Infrastructure Ltd & German Woehr Parking Systems Private firms to maintain and develop the lots for 30 years

After 30 years, ownership will shift to the BMC

Total cost: Rs 444 crore

As of now, 400 cars can be parked in these seven spots

After the parkings are built, 1,400 cars will be accommodated

Demand is for over 6,000 parking spaces.

Despite the new parking slots, people will still need to park on the road.

Space freed up on the road: 10,496 sq mts

Fully automated from the point of entry to exit

Equipped with laser screens, display boards & electric markers

To reduce the security risk, there will be minimal human interference once the car drives into the parking lot

The driver will activate parking procedure with a unique transponder chip

A hi-tech system comprising storage and retrieval units will transfer the vehicle to the allotted parking level

Plan for Mumbai: The BMC has identified 150 plots for development of underground or multistoreyed parking facilities in the next three years. Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC), a company with 25% holding from central ministry of urban development, is the project advisor to BMC Parking rates in the city Rs 5 for an hour at civic pay & parks — is among the lowest in the world. A proposal for four-fold hike has been gathering dust. A new rate chart is being drawn so that sizeable revenue could be gained from the underground lots

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