Parking site still elusive

deadline worry: An excavator removes earth from the Saheed Nagar site in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: The smart city implementing agency's indecisiveness to take forward its ambitious smart parking project at two places here has irked residents who continue to battle parking problems.

Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL), the special purpose vehicle executing the smart city project here, had promised two multi-level car parking facilities for people visiting commercial and domestic facilities on Janpath and Rajpath. However, parking remains a paramount problem because of their failure to deliver.

The BSCL had decided to introduce a multi-level car park at Saheed Nagar and another at Unit-II. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had laid the foundation stone for the projects last June after it floated a tender for these facilities.

So far, the BSCL has only started removing soil from the Saheed Nagar project site, while the one at Unit II is yet to see any physical progress.

"Janpath is fine as it has enough space for on-street parking, but the situation at Rajpath is pathetic. It neither has space for parking nor systematic regulation," said Unit I resident Niranjan Jena.

Officials, however, claimed that the work is on time. "We have two years to complete the two projects. We have started the work at Saheed Nagar and will take up the Unit-II project by the end of this month. Rajpath is a busy street and we need to work according to our schedule," said a senior BSCL official.

Rajpath is located at a strategic location with Rajdhani Haat on one side and the Unit-II vegetable market on the other. It is one of the city's most visited areas.

"Everything is unorganised in this area. The shops are haphazardly placed and parking is a major problem. It needs to be resolved," said Unit-II market shopkeeper Birendra Sahoo.

The Janpath stretch, on the other hand, has a number of big malls and commercial establishments besides the railway station at Master Canteen Square.

"A single multi-level car parking facility will not be enough for Janpath. A number of important establishments are spread over the entire stretch. There is a need to introduce additional facilities here," said Jayant Hota, a shopper at a mall here.

Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said they were aware of the problems and taking steps to complete the projects on time.

"We have asked the executor to complete the work as soon as possible. We are also taking steps to ease the parking problems in different parts of the city. We are committed to our deadlines," said Jena.


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