RE - In the wake of precarious law and order situation jeopardised by terror attacks, the Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (Tepa) has planned to outsource D-Point parking plaza at Shah Alam Market, countrys first purpose-built parking plaza.
With the outsourcing of the D-Point parking plaza, modern parking management system will be launched. Parking lots will be operationally upgraded by introducing high-tech security installations to meet any untoward incident. In this regard, Tepa has floated the tenders to invite private national and international firms.
Prior to this plan, D-Point parking plaza was under the control of a private contractor. In November 2009, the City District Government Lahore had cancelled the contract and handed over its control to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), which deputed its staff there.
The change of 'guards faced criticism by the local traders as by taking this step, parking hours had been fixed from 9am to 9pm instead of 24 hours. However, the handing over the plaza to LDA has ended the chapter of overcharging.
The plaza accommodates 550 cars, 150 motorcycles and as many bicycles on 217,720 square feet parking space on its three basements, seven floors and the roof. So far an average of 300 cars and 300 motorcycles are parked at the first, second and third floors of the plaza.
Completed in 2002, the D-Point parking plaza has been the first of its kind in the country. The plaza was built to eliminate the traffic congestion in the busy market.
Designed in the shape of the letter 'D, the eight-storey D-point car parking plaza was constructed by LDA with a cost of around Rs170 million in a span of over 9 years. The plaza is standing on a foundation of heavy steel, attached with columns of concrete that run 250 feet deep in the earth .The plaza can survive earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter scale.
Built basically with a view to resolve persistent parking problems, especially in the congested areas from Shah Alam Chowk to Rang Mahal, the construction of the D-point plaza was initiated with the help of private sector in 1992 in the era of former Chief Minister Punjab Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo.
It may be recalled that in July 1998, D-point parking plaza was under construction but the incomplete structure was razed to the ground by the LDA on the directives of the then Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. It resulted in a loss of Rs670 million, because by that time many traders had already bought shops in the plaza. Apart from this, Rs35 million spent on the construction of the plaza also went down the drain.
The LDA took the responsibility of reconstructing it and finished the work in the next two years. The plaza was restored as a car-parking plaza.