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Parking space: Despite uncertainties, plans for 3 more plazas

LAHORE: Lahore Development Authority (LDA) officials are making preparations for three more parking plazas in the city, though they are unsure where funding for the projects will come from.

The Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA) has completed feasibilty studies for three plazas at Neela Gumbad, Moon Market in Allama Iqbal Town and Jail Road. Price quotes for designs have been received from five firms, and the winning bid will be selected on Monday. The firms on the shortlist are the National Engineering Services of Pakistan (NESPAK), Al Imam Enterprisers, Anwar Ali and Associates, Engineering General Consultants, Asian Consultant Engineering and Pakistan Environmental Planning and Architectural Consultants.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was to be briefed on these projects his return from China, an LDA official told The Express Tribune. “The chief minister is very keen to start these plazas. We have to give him a presentation after which construction work will begin within days,” the official said. He added that Nespak would likely be selected as the design consultants.

He said he did not know where funding would come from. “We had planned to start construction of other plazas through the money raised from the auction of shops at the Park and Ride Plaza (Liberty Market), but investors showed little interest in the auctions,” he said.

TEPA Director Israr Saeed said the funds would come “from our own sources”. He said that the LDA had enough money to start construction. He said that the parking plaza at Neela Gumbad was the first priority. “Hopefully construction will begin next month,” he said.

The LDA official said that the chief minsiter would likely inaugurate construction work at Neela Gumbad in the second week of May, while construction at the other two sites would begin at the same time. He said that the parking plazas at Moon Market and Jail Road would also be used for commerce. “There is a possibility that the commercial plazas will be built first and then the other funded by revenue from those plazas,” he said.

The Neela Gumbad parking plaza will be a two-storey underground structure located under the fountains in front of King Edward Medical College, an LDA property of 10 kanals and 12 marlas. It will be able to accommodate 684 vehicles and cost around Rs560 million. The fountain structure will be restored at the top of the plaza once construction work finishes. The plaza will be used only for parking.

The second plaza will be constructed in the parking lot of Moon Market, Allama Iqbal Town.

The 13-storey structure will cost some Rs820 million and will also be used for commercial purposes.

The third plaza will be a seven-storey structure on a 14-kanal property next to the residence of the deputy inspector general of police near Sherpao Bridge on Jail Road. The plaza will cost some Rs600 million and include office space.

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