A semi-mechanised car park, the first of its kind in Jammu and Kashmir, was today inaugurated by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who hoped the facility would ease traffic congestion in and around Lal Chowk. The multi-level car park, located near the old KMD bus stand on Maulana Azad Road, has been set up at a cost of Rs 27.15 crore and has a capacity to hold 288 vehicles. The chief minister also went around various parking levels and witnessed the parking and retrieval process of the vehicles. The car parking facility is the first of its kind in the state as most of the operations during car parking would be automatic, including collection of fee and receipts. The drivers will have to just place their vehicles over an automated pallet and it would be placed in an available vacant slot.
The vehicle would similarly be retrieved in the same manner. The whole process would take around two minutes and would be undertaken with the help of a Logic Control Unit, Chief Executive Officer of Economic Reconstruction Agency, Vinod Sharma told the chief minister. Spread over an area of 1,545 square metres in the city's most busy commercial place, the parking facility comprises four bays with each having a parking space for 72 vehicles, besides a commercial complex, office and public convenience. Sharma said the facility has been built by Economic Reconstruction Agency under the Asian development Bank funding and the project was completed in two years. The chief minister said the need for such a facility was felt for quite long, given the increasing number of vehicles in the city. She hoped the facility would ease traffic congestion at Lal Chowk and surrounding areas by a great measure. Mehbooba directed the agency concerned to devise plans for enhancing the capacity of the parking facility and also pace up work on such facilities elsewhere in the city and the state.