Karachi: Cash-strapped Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has been mulling over to utilize its CDKC parking plaza in Saddar area to full capacity and rent out shops of its two-storied modern mall, which would also provide some handsome income to the civic body.
CDKC parking plaza is the first modern car parking plaza of whole Pakistan but the lethargic bureaucracy has failed to fully utilize this modern facility for the benefit of citizens or even for its own revenue generation purpose during last six full years.
In July 2009 Sindh Governor Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan and the then Karachi City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal had inaugurated this grand building built at a cost of Rs 650 million. The building has 11 floors, seven of them reserved for parking, two floors houses a Shopping Plaza while remaining two are consist of basement.
This plaza can accommodate 700 cars and 500 motorcycles. It is fully computerized with surveillance, video cameras and also equipped with heavy elevators and standby generator.
Sources said the KMC has been mulling over to rent out shops built in first two floors of the car parking plaza. Presently this very beautiful market is the meeting place of drug addicts, pick-pockets and other anti-social elements of Saddar area.
They said making Saddar a parking free zone is key to the success of car parking plaza but there are many factors, including political ones, that do not like ending car parking and illegal bus terminals from Saddar area. They said in fact market associations of Saddar are opposing to make this area a pedestrian zone. They are also opposing the idea of introducing charge parking in this area.
They said when the car parking plaza was made it was decided that no public transport vehicle would be allowed to ply in whole Saddar area and special buses or trams would be plied between Saddar and Tower that which facilitate the people who park their vehicles in this plaza. However, the bureaucracy has yet to implement this idea.
The sources said the higher authorities have taken notice of the continuous neglect of the car parking plaza. They said in the first phase, over-running gutters in front of this plaza building would be taken care of and the open manholes there closed, and in the next phase shops of this modern Mall market would be rented out. They said, however, making Saddar a parking-free zone or a ‘pedestrian-only area’ would still be a distant dream as some very important stakeholders including market associations and operators of illegal intra-city bus terminals do not favour it.