Going underground is the way out

Khan Market parking

The busy upscale Khan Market in the heart of the city may grow green with the construction of a proposed underground parking corridor nearby and conversion of all its existing ground level parking lots into manicured lawns.

The New Delhi Municipal Council said Friday it is planning to do away with surface parking in Khan Market area once the underground car parking comes up over a four acre plot on Amrita Shergill Marg, about a hundred metre away from the market.
The move comes at a time when parking cars in the area is a menace and regularly leads to congestion at the market. 

“The NDMC has procured land worth Rs 14 crore near Amrita Shergill Marg for the underground parking facility,” NDMC Chairperson Jalaj Shrivastava said, adding that the project is at a concept stage and no deadline has been set.

The underground parking, with a capacity of 3,000-5,000 vehicles, will ease congestion in Amrita Shergill Marg, Prithviraj Road and Khan Market, Shrivastava added.

Currently, parking in Khan Market area is free. Shopkeepers from over 150 shops in the market and residents of 74 flats park their vehicles in the area, besides customers who come for shopping. But once the underground car parking is introduced, parking will be chargeable.

“We will issue tokens for shopkeepers and residents so that they can park their vehicles in the underground parking lots without a charge,” the chairperson said.

“We plan to do away with surface parking completely. This will not only help decongest the area, but will also enhance greenery around the area,” Shrivastava added.

Vehicles are often found parked in the area for six to seven hours, leading to congestion. “People take advantage of free parking lots. They park their vehicles here and go shopping at other places by accessing the Metro. While we have increased vigilance to curb this menace, chargeable parking lots are likely to put an end to this,” said Sanjiv Mehra, president of Khan Market Traders’ Association.

“There are times when I manage to park the car only after taking three rounds around the market,” said Pradeep Kumar Roy, who drives his employer to Khan Market at least twice a week.

A major rush is particularly on two days of the week – Friday and Saturday. “It is almost impossible to find space on these two days,” said Mohammed Shamsheen, another driver. Men deployed at the parking lots aired the same view. “The situation gets really bad on these two days,” said a security guard manning the parking area. 

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