Cast-B

Saddar car parking plaza so far useless

Karachi: The first multi-storeyed car parking plaza of Pakistan is Saddar Karachi is so far useless as the government is not ready to end illegal parking in Saddar and surrounding areas of Karachi.

The parking plaza completed with cost of hundreds of millions of rupees about half a decade back has the capacity of parking 700 cars and 500 motorbikes, but presently only a couple of dozen vehicles are parked here daily.

On one hand this huge facility remained unused and on the other hand about 12000 vehicles are parked daily on the streets of Saddar, resulting in frequent traffic jams. The huge parking plaza was made to solve this problem, but the project failed miserably due to lack of an action plan to use it.

The 12-storey plaza   with eight floors for parking and two each for shops and offices   was constructed at a cost of Rs 650 million on a 35,654 square feet plot some four years ago. It has ample space to park 700 vehicles and 500 motorcycles, besides accommodation for 160 shops and 118 offices. However, this huge parking plaza remains unutilised due to bureaucratic apathy, clash of interests of stakeholders, provincial government of Sindh, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and traffic police.

At the time of opening of this project, it was announced that parking of every type of vehicle would be banned in Saddar area. A shuttle bus service would be plied between the parking plaza and Merewether Tower to facilitate the people who park their vehicles in the plaza. However, neither vehicle parking was banned in the area on sustainable basis and nor any shuttle bus run to facilitate people.

However, the government is not ready to make this car parking plaza functional by banning illegal parking in the area, as the shopkeepers of Saddar markets have warned their patrons in the government department that they would not ‘cooperate’ if illegal parking in front of their markets was banned, as it would deprive them of customers. Saddar is prominent amongst Karachi markets where huge Bhatta is collected by the Bhatta mafia of Karachi.

The citizens have demanded from the Sindh governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah to take notice of the scandalous under-use of Saddar car parking plaza and order that this huge project should be fully utilized to facilitate people and end the chronic traffic jam issue in Saddar, Karachi.

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