A start has been made to complete a Rs 27 crore multilevel car parking project in Kalimpong which has been lying unfinished even though the construction had started a decade ago.
Rabi Pradhan, the chairman of Kalimpong municipality, on Friday said that the Kalimpong engineering department (KED) of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) had floated tenders to construct a building to settle encroachers.
“We are confident of starting the construction from the first week of June,” said Pradhan. An agreement on the settlement is likely to be signed next week.
Sources in the KED said the new building was estimated to cost around Rs 1.22 crore. “The tender was floated today (Friday),” said the source.
Eight families will be rehabilitated at the building which will come next to the present parking lot. The construction of the building is expected to be completed within a year.
The eight houses were obstacles to the construction of a ramp to the parking lot, because of which the project had remained unfinished. “The Kalimpong municipality has provided us with structural designs of the ramp. We will work out the estimates soon,” the source said.
Sources said the GTA had started the work on the multi-level car and bus stand at 9th Mile in Kalimpong in 2013.
“A Calcutta-based company took up ‘structural and development work’ of the project for Rs 17 crore in 2013. However, out of the total area required, around 40 per cent was encroached on when the work started,” said a source.
The work had to be stopped after a couple of years as the encroachers could not be removed.
In 2018, the work resumed and only the ground floor of the three-storied parking space was completed to accommodate “20 buses”. According to the original plan, the project should have been completed by 2015.
The project is incomplete as there is no space to set up a ramp for vehicles to reach the first and second floors.
“We are confident the project will be completed and will ease traffic in town,” said Pradhan.
The first and the second floors can accommodate “50 light vehicles and 20 two-wheelers” each and this would bring a huge respite to a cramped Kalimpong town.
Until now, the GTA has spent around Rs 8.9 crore on the project. Recently, the GTA started the construction of a two-storied sporting arena on its rooftop at an extra expense of Rs 90 lakh. The original idea was to have shops in this space.