Final date for parking plaza

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  • Published 13.04.07

After 14 deadlines have been set and missed comes the “final” date for the unveiling of New Market Parkomat.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will throw open the parking plaza-cum-commercial complex under Lindsay Street on April 20 — five days after the previous deadline of Poila Baisakh. Also to be unveiled is a pedestrian plaza on Lindsay Street.

Work on the Rs 33-crore project started in April 2003 and was scheduled to be wrapped up by the end of the year, but a flood of factors — litigation, opposition from traders and political infighting in the civic body — kept pushing the debut date back.

The “e-governed and LASER-guided” parking facility — the first of its kind in India — has five blocks built 32 ft below the road surface.

“Four of them will be operational initially, accommodating 240 cars,” municipal commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay said on Thursday.

The fifth block, with room for 41 cars, will be commissioned in the last week of May, said B.K. Mundra, chairman and managing director of Simplex Projects Limited.

“Earlier, only around 80 cars could have been parked in the space in front of New Market,” the commissioner added.

One of the four blocks has been built with Swiss technology and the rest have come up with Dutch expertise.

The time to retrieve a car by the Dutch system will be 150 seconds and by the Swiss system 120 seconds. “Once the fifth block, built with indigenous design and a combination of Swiss and Dutch technologies, is operational, it will take just 90 seconds to retrieve a car,” said Aroop Chaudhury, vice-president of Simplex.

The trial run of the “Swiss block” was conducted on Thursday — in the presence of Italian software engineer Fabio Riva — with an Ambassador, a Maruti Esteem, an Alto and a TATA Sumo. The trial run of the other three blocks were conducted in April 2006.