Mysuru: The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) has decided to open the multi-level pay-and-park facility at Town Hall premises temporarily for public during this Dasara. The parking lot will be open from Oct.10 to Oct.20. For the record, the works of parking lot began way back in 2011 and has been caught in politician-bureaucrat-contractor quagmire.
The MCC has decided to temporarily open the facility to ease traffic congestion and parking hassles in the Central Business District where people coming to the city centre to witness Dasara celebrations usually run around to find a suitable place to park.
Usually, the main Dasara events are held at Palace (illumination and cultural programmes), Kuppanna Park (flower show), Open Street Festival (Krishnaraja Boulevard), Yuva Dasara (Maharaja’s College Grounds) and Aahara Mela (Scouts and Guides Grounds). Thousands of visitors come to these venues and parking vehicles is a herculean task and a nightmarish experience.
Also, many visitors shy away from coming to these programmes as they do not get sufficient and suitable place to park their vehicles. The Town Hall parking facility is convenient as the location is in the heart of the city and is just a stone’s throw away distance to Mysore Palace, Kuppanna Park, Dasara Exhibition Grounds and the surrounding venues.
The Town Hall can accommodate over 600 four-wheelers and over 1,000 two-wheelers. The last three days of Navarathri sees a surge in the vehicles with tourists coming from other cities. “The penultimate day and a day or two before Vijayadashami, areas like D. Devaraja Urs Road, Sayyaji Rao Road and adjoining areas of Town Hall, the shopping hub of the city, are teeming with shoppers. By opening the Town Hall pay-and-park facility for temporary vehicle parking we want to ease the parking woes to some extent,” MCC Commissioner K.H. Jagadeesha told Star of Mysore.
“We have cleared all the rubble, boulders, weeds, stones, litter, wastages and other building materials that had piled up on the premises of Town Hall for easy parking facility. We have also closed and levelled the pits. The temporary entry-exit is ready,” he said. Last year too, the MCC had opened the parking lot for public during Dasara festivities but was not able to complete the works as a Court had issued a stay order, Jagadeesha said.
The MCC Commissioner said that the Civic Body had already floated tenders to operate and maintain the multi-level parking lot in Town Hall for the festival. “We are awarding parking lot contract to a contractor this Dasara as it is difficult for the MCC to prevent vehicle thefts and maintain and operate the parking facility due to skeletal staff. Instructions will be given to the contractor to ensure security of vehicles and depute enough staff to maintain and operate the parking lot,” he said.
PUBLIC WRATH OVER INORDINATE DELAY
Meanwhile, the delay in completion of Town Hall works including the parking lot has drawn a huge flak from various stakeholders and public. The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of this parking lot was held on April 29, 2011.
The MCC had awarded the construction Chhabra Associates of Secunderabad at a cost of Rs. 18.28 crore and had set a deadline of one year, to be competed in April 2012. Though the MCC had widely publicised that the parking lot would be opened to public use for 2012 Dasara celebrations, till now, the works have not been completed. Even the beautification and interior works have not been completed by the contractor.
So far, works worth Rs. 10.86 crore have been completed and out of 6,000 feet roof works, only 4,980 square meters of work has been completed. Works on retaining walls are still pending.
Irked by the contractor’s delay, the MCC had blacklisted the contractor as he failed to complete the project within the set deadline. The contractor, however, brought a stay order from the Court, the result of which the pending works have come to a grinding halt.