NEW DELHI: After a delay of over eight years, multiple missed deadlines and cost escalations, Delhi’s first car facility was finally inaugurated by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation just before the model code of conduct kicked in. But despite the fanfare around the nearly a month ago, which was attended by Union minister Harsh Vardhan and top BJP leaders, the facility is still not operational.
A senior EDMC official said the tender process for running and maintaining the facility couldn’t be completed till March 10 when election dates were announced. “We had immediately started tenders for making the facility operational but the financial bids could not be opened before the EC announcement came. Now the contract can only be awarded after the elections,” he added. Since Delhi will vote on May 12 and counting will happen on May 23, it’s estimated that it will take three more months for the facility to become operational.
Krishna Nagar resident and head of east Delhi RWA joint front, B S Vohra, said the project took over eight years. “They knew that General Election is about to be announced. They could have easily factored in the time taken to issue tenders and completed the process before they started preparing for political inauguration,” Vohra said.
He added that the facility should at least be opened for public for free till the tender process starts.
The multilevel parking is expected to ease up the massively congested residential area of E block in Krishna Nagar and market in Lal quarter.
The six-floor facility, with two basement units, will be run on public private partnership mode. The ground and first floors will be used as a commercial complex. The parking can accommodate 200 vehicles.
Corporation officials say that almost Rs 24 crore has been spent to develop the multilevel parking lot spread over an area of 1,740 square metres. The civic body had kept a base price of Rs 5 lakh in the tender process and it estimated that during the next three months, the corporation might lose revenue to the tune of Rs 15 lakh. Besides, the office space in the building will be rented out for 15-20 years.
East mayor Bipin Bihari Singh said the process for awarding the tender has been completed and the corporation is waiting for the elections to get over. Responding to the demands of opening the facility for free in the interim period, Singh said he had floated the idea but safety concerns do not allow the expensive facility to be opened in this manner.
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