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Modern car park debuts in Guwahati

- First Multi-level facility in state

Guwahati, Dec. 19: Assam today got its first multi-level car park at the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) complex in Paltan Bazar here. The corporation has implemented the project with an aim to decongest the commercial area and ensure greater vehicular mobility.

The first phase of the facility, with ground plus three floors and built at a cost of Rs 11.56 crore, took about three years to be completed. The DoNER ministry had given its nod to two car park projects in the city in 2009 after Dispur had sent proposals for four.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, while stressing on schemes that generate income, said the ASTC is privileged to have its own land and that this facility will further help the corporation earn revenue to sustain the project.

“The government has always focused on schemes that generate income. This is important to sustain projects through schemes that help us provide subsidies and pay salaries to employees. The transport department needs to utilise its land in a better and planned manner so that similar projects could be taken up in the future,” Gogoi said at the inauguration of the facility here today.

As of now, 150 cars can be parked at the facility having a total area of 350,000 square feet.

The future phases will see construction of another 10 floors with a parking capacity of 400 more cars and an office-cum-shopping complex.

Terming the facility as a dream project, transport minister Chandan Brahma thanked the chief minister, DoNER ministry (which is funding the project from its non-lapsable pool of resources fund), architect Ranjit Barua and builders Hi-Tech Construction.

“Now that we have a facility, it is important to utilise it well. We are contemplating similar parks in the city and other towns as well. Also, the idea is to lessen congestion by setting up bus terminuses on the outskirts of the city. An ISBT is being contemplated at Mirza to cater to passengers who go and come from places such as Goalpara and Tura. Similar facilities are planned at Baihata Chariali (for buses going to and coming from lower Assam) and at Sonapur (commuters to and from Upper Assam),” Brahma said.

The Rs 120-crore project, the second step by ASTC to remove snarls in the busy area, assumes significance in a congested city where the problem is compounded by parking on both sides of the roads.

The corporation, for its part, had first shifted the Inter-State Bus Terminus to Gorchuk five years back, following which traffic on the arterial roads had eased to an extent. A lifeline for public transport in the state, the corporation, which had run into losses for almost a decade, took the revival route in 2010.

“This multi-level car park, with facilities such as CCTV cameras, fire detection, sprinkler system, electronic entry card with timing and signs depicting occupancy of parking space at each level, is one-of-its kind in the Northeast. The structural design was a challenge for the engineers. It took an additional six months to ensure that the surveillance and security were in place. But we were focused on our goal,” ASTC managing director K.N. Chetia said.