A multi-agency initiative is afoot to address a long-felt need in the bustling BBD Bag (Dalhousie Square) area: a modern parking lot.
Prodded by the police, transport department and various business bodies, the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) has agreed to set up an automated, multi-tiered parking space on Old Court House Street, adjacent to Currency Building.
Scheduled to be completed by 2009, it will be the third such facility in the city.
Municipal commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay said on Tuesday that he had started talks with Mackintosh Burn, a state government undertaking, on setting up the facility at the office-cum-commercial building it will construct at 38, Old Court House Street.
'It is unimaginable that there is not one modern parking facility at a heritage site like Dalhousie Square,' Bandyopadhyay said. 'We, at the CMC, feel something needs to be done immediately.'
The Old Court House Street building, to cost Rs 15 crore, will come up in a joint venture between Mackintosh Burn and National Building Construction Company (NBCC), which owns the site. The civic authorities last week had informed Mackintosh Burn that extra floor space would be allowed in the building if the parking facility was set up.
Mackintosh Burn managing director Nilmoni Dhar said his company was discussing the project with NBCC. The CMC has suggested that Mackintosh engage Simplex Projects Ltd, which has constructed the automated parking lots on Rawdon Street and under Lindsay Street, for the Dalhousie construction.
'Next week, we will meet experts from both Mackintosh Burn and Simplex to discuss the details,' mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya said.
What has prompted the CMC to embark on the project is a series of reports from police, pointing out that the Dalhousie area records heaviest daytime footfall in the city. People and vehicles from across the state throng the area every day, demanding a high degree of crowd and traffic management skill.
Civic commissioner Bandyopadhyay said the facility will supplement the parking space the government has long been planning to set up under Laldighi. Not much headway has been made, though, in the government's project.
The Lindsay Street space is likely to be unveiled on April 14 (Poila Baisakh).