Work on the multi-level parking lot near the city’s central business district is progressing at a snail’s pace. The project, undertaken to decongest the crowded bazaar area, has been going on for over a year and the work is yet to pick up pace.
The Tiruchi City Corporation began work on the multilevel parking lot in September 2019 under the Smart Cities Mission. Sanctioned at a cost of ₹ 19.70 crore, the parking lot is coming up next to the District Central Library where the erstwhile City Club used to be.
The parking lot will come as a huge relief to vehicles- both two-wheelers and cars, who struggle to find a spot before visiting commercial establishments along the West Boulevard Road and the Singarathope areas. Most buildings, including textile showrooms, do not have designated parking areas, forcing the customers to park along narrow and busy roads.
The parking lot is being constructed in an area of 3,989 sq m. and will have four floors. It will have the capacity to accommodate 138 four-wheelers and 536 two-wheelers.
However, the work, which was to be completed in September 2020, continues to drag. “Until March 2020, we were only able to erect pillars on one side. While work was slow even before the COVID-19 lockdown, it came to a standstill for at least five months due to the pandemic. Work on creating underground spaces has just begun. It will take at least one more year to complete,” a supervisor at the site said.
Shoppers said that the increasing crowd in the areas and the upcoming summers would make matters worse. “We are forced to walk in the sun after parking our vehicles elsewhere. Haphazard parking around the area makes it more difficult to navigate. The civic body must ensure that the parking lot is constructed soon and that the vehicles are cleared from the streets,” a shopper said.