ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) board on Thursday finalised six multi-storey parking plazas in major business centres of Islamabad with parking capacity of about 3,500 vehicles.
The CDA board members during an unofficial meeting were given briefing on the said project by consultant, and board members okayed the plan to construct six parking plazas – three in Blue Area, one in F-8 and two in F-10 Markaz.
The CDA officials said that now after completion of design, the civic agency is planning to construct plazas in June-July this year.
“Today, we got briefing from consultant and approved six sites. I have directed the concerned wing to start construction work in June-July of this year,” said CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed.
Speaking to Dawn, he said that CDA would also sell out a few floors of parking plazas of Blue Area to meet the construction cost of the entire project.
He said rooftop of the plazas would be used for gardening and promoting green characters, adding that parking plazas of Blue Area will be six to eight storey while such facilities in F-8 and F-10 will have basements and two storeys.
Blue Area will have three, F-8 one and F-10 Markaz two
In August last year, the CDA’s Development Working Party (DWP) had approved the hiring of a consultant to conduct feasibility study and detail engineering to develop new parking spaces in the capital.
The CDA-DWP meeting approved the PC-II for the project, which titled ‘engagement of consultancy services for feasibility study, detailed engineering design and construction, supervision of parking plazas at different locations of Islamabad’. Then, the consultant was hired, who completed his initial designing.
According to CDA’s documents, the project will cost Rs35.8 million and it will take eight months to complete. However, CDA officials said the chairman had asked the wing concerned to complete the construction in three months time.
The document said that an estimated 350,000 vehicles enter and leave Islamabad every day, while an equivalent number are owned by the capital’s residents.
“The growth rate of vehicle ownership in Islamabad is much higher than the national growth rate,” it said.
The document further said that growing motorisation, combined with inadequate management strategies, change in land use and transportation planning, have led to a significant level of traffic congestion resulting in the lack of parking space, it said.
Earlier, CDA had built underground car park in Jinnah Super Market some years ago, but that project did not achieve the desired results, as people take no interest in parking their vehicles in underground parking.
On the other hand, the city is running out of parking spaces for its growing population as CDA never made any serious attempt to resolve this issue.
The problem is particular in Blue Area, the city’s business district and F-8 Markaz which houses city’s district courts.
In almost all markets and Marakiz of Islamabad people face parking issue, due to unplanned growth of markets. An official of CDA said that all major shopping plazas are bound to have parking lot in their basement but many of them are using basement for commercial purposes. Similarly, he said class-three shopping centres, which are originally designed to have eight to 12 shops, have been expanded illegally by traders as one main shop has been converted into small eight to 10 shops and this alteration caused parking issue as well.
“ Look at Al Habib Market in G-7 originally had only 10 to 12 shops but today there are dozens of shops, similarly, a G-6/2 market, which has six main shops now has over 70 small shops. Similarly, Sitara Market, Gulshan Market, Gol Market and almost all markets have been expanded due to negligence of CDA,” an official on condition of anonymity said.
He said besides construction of new parking plazas, CDA should ensure that all commercial plaza use their basement for parking purposes.
Published in Dawn, April 30th, 2021