After failing to attract bidders to run the newly-built parking facility at Freedom Park, the BBMP is likely to make vehicle users pay for parking on the surrounding streets.
Municipal authorities are considering declaring the streets within a 500-metre radius of Freedom Park a pay-and-park zone. This would help draw vehicle users to the multi-level parking facility, they hope.
The BBMP, which built the parking facility at a cost of Rs 78 crore after missing several deadlines, has been struggling to get private players to run it because they see it as an unprofitable venture. Potential bidders had said that the revenue expected by the BBMP was “unrealistic” and asked for bringing it down by at least 40%.
One of the key reasons why bidders think the facility would be unprofitable is that parking on streets around Freedom Park is still free. The BBMP now wants to change that. To sweeten the offer, it will likely include the streets around Freedom Park in the contract.
“Most of the roads around Freedom Park have already been developed under TenderSURE and have dedicated parking bays. The higher-ups believe these roads can be added to the parking facility contract,” a BBMP official said.
In addition, the existing parking facility for freight vehicles on Y Ramachandra Road, behind Freedom Park and at the entrance of the protest venue will also be included under the contract.
BBMP officials recently held a meeting with their counterparts from the Urban Development Department, the traffic police and the Directorate of Urban Land Transport to explore ways of attracting suitable bidders to operate the parking facility. A source in the Urban Development Department said the BBMP and the traffic police had been asked to survey the area and file a report on vehicle density.
“We had fixed the contract price based on other multi-level parking facilities in the city. Department officials have now advised that we determine the vehicle density in the area, the duration of parking and other aspects to calculate the revenue we can expect from the facility,” an official said.
Officials also plan to reserve 10 parking slots in the parking bays on the surrounding streets for cycles. Another option is to appoint a private agency to run the parking facility on a pilot basis for three to six months. UDD officials suggested that the contract price be adjusted based on the revenue collected during the pilot, a senior BBMP official said.
BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said that efforts were underway to operationalise the facility. “We are working on a new tender and hope to open the facility in the next few weeks,” he said.
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