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Have space, can’t use Rooftop parking fails to lift off

Bhubaneswar, March 6: A proposed rooftop parking facility at a mall in one of the busiest commercial areas of the capital is lying unused for almost a year-and-half.

In a city where parking remains a major concern, this facility at the Unit-II daily market, popularly known as market building, could have provided lot of relief as it was built with the capacity to accommodate nearly 100 cars.

Mall employees said the facility could not be made operational because of the costs of running the parking lot.

“Elevators would have been used to transport vehicles to the rooftop parking lot. This would have led to a high consumption of power and a subsequent rise in electricity bills,” said an employee.

“The mall has still not become fully functional. So, with a limited number of shops operating out of the mall, we would have had to bear the brunt of the high costs of running the rooftop parking facility,” the employee added.

The market complex inaugurated on September 2, 2010, has a 70,000sqft built-up area and space for over 200 shops.

“When we heard that mall would offer us the facility of rooftop parking, we heaved a sigh of relief. As this area is such a busy one, it is very difficult for people visiting the daily market to find parking space for a four-wheeler. But the plan only remained on paper and the rooftop parking facility a distant dream,” said Abanikanta Maharana, a visitor to the mall. The project was a joint venture of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Keshari Titan Developers. However, while the latter either sold or rented out the shops that fell in its share, the BMC is yet to take a decision in this regard.

There is only one parking lot behind the Western Tower, which is used by both two-wheelers and four-wheelers and can accommodate nearly 200 vehicles at a time. Another parking lot that was proposed around the market area is still to make any progress.

This 500-metre stretch in the heart of the city has over 300 showrooms. Over 5,000 shoppers visit the market daily and business between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore is carried out. But without proper parking facilities, vehicle owners are forced to park their vehicles at a distance and walk for nearly 500 meters.

However, BMC officials have asked the citizens not to lose hope. “Once the market becomes fully functional, the rooftop parking facility will be made operational,” said recovery officer of BMC Sumita Behera.